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Can Derek Carr be trusted to lead Raiders on game winning drive?

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With two minutes left on your own 30 and down by six, I want to know what your team does. Do they win, or do they lose?

Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

This week, the Raiders play the red hot Arizona Cardinals at Oakland Coliseum. The Cardinals are 4-1 and have only lost to the Denver Broncos. They also have one of the best secondaries in the NFL featuring Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson, Antonio Cromartie, Tyrann Mathieu and first-round safety Deone Bucannon. But even with the odds stacked against the Raiders, I still think they are very capable of winning the game given the scenario detailed here.

It all starts with Derek Carr. He has improved every week and last week against the Chargers torched one of the top secondaries in the NFL, throwing for 4 touchdowns and 282 yards. His lone interception came at the end of the game on a game-winning drive attempt down 3 points.

Carr had already driven the Raiders down the field for two first downs and was in Chargers territory in second and one. His throw to Brice Butler was a poor decision as it was not necessary, but the throw itself was great. Jason Verrett just made an awesome play on the ball. But Carr has shown the ability to learn from his mistakes.

Back in week three against the Patriots, Carr drove the Raiders 80 yards in the waning seconds, culminating in a Darren McFadden touchdown that was called back because of a bad holding call on Gabe Jackson. Next play, Carr hit Denarius Moore in the chest on a comeback route. Moore dropped it and the ball was picked off by Vince Wilfork.

While Carr failed both times to lead the Raiders to a win, it shows how close he has come against top defenses.

Last week against the Chargers, the Raiders rushed for a season best 114 yards. If Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew can keep that up, their offense will be much more potent. As last week showed, a strong rushing attack can help Carr tremendously.

Last week was a coming out party for Andre Holmes and Brice Butler. Holmes has even drawn comparisons to star receiver Brandon Marshall. James Jones continues to be Carr's favorite target and the most consistent receiver on the Raiders.

The Raiders offense looks rejuvenated under Tony Sparano, and given another chance to lead a comeback, I think they would succeed.

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