There wasn't much to take from last week's loss to the Broncos. The offense was the worst we have seen it this season, and that's saying a lot. There were three turnovers on two interceptions and a fumble and the offense couldn't stay on the field which allowed the Broncos the opportunity to put the game away by the end of the third quarter.
While the Derek Carr and the Raiders offense wasn't simply making mistakes, they simply weren't moving the ball down the field. The result was a 42-10 deficit with a minute remaining in the third quarter. That's when the Raiders had to consider whether to pull Derek Carr from the game.
"It was a possibility, yeah," Greg Olson said of removing Derek Carr. "That was discussed. It was discussed first internally, but then I discussed it with him a little bit, just briefly and he said 'I wanna play' and we didn't feel like we were leaving him in harm's way, so we felt like the experience would be real good for him."
On Wednesday, the rookie signal caller shared his philosophy on finishing blowout games like this.
"I should be out there no matter what, good, bad or ugly. For a long time, it was ugly," said Carr. "For me, it was really important to continue to finish. I'm all about finishing, so it was really important to me to go out there and finish. I'm glad that they kept their guys in, because I would have been mad if they weren't. I wanted to go out there and compete one last time and just try and correct the things we'd been trying to correct all game."
On the other sideline, Peyton Manning played the final snap of the third quarter and then left in favor of his backup, Brock Osweiler. Manning had earned his seat after leading his team to five straight touchdown drives in 17 minutes of play.
Carr on the other hand, threw two interceptions and threw the ball to inelligible receiver, Khalif Barnes, who then fumbled it and it was recovered by the Broncos. All three of those turnovers led to Broncos scores. He also was unable to lead the Raiders on a scoring drive during that entire onslaught from the Broncos and the Raiders had a total of nine three-and-outs. The game was lost by the end of the third quarter.
"He he just didn't have the same success that he had (in the first half) in the second half," Olson said of Carr. "That doesn't fall all on Derek Carr. I will say this; there was no point in that game where he wanted to be taken out. That's to me, when you've got a young quarterback like that that's struggled a little bit, that's a very good sign. He said 'I wanna get this and I wanna score a touchdown here with this group. And I don't wanna be the guy that is taken out and I don't want guys to feel like I'm gonna let them down or I'm not gonna be out there with them', so that was encouraging. Plus he was seeing some things that to me it wasn't as if throughout the course of the game he felt like 'oh, I don't know where guys are coming from, I don't know what I'm doing'. He still remained calm and said 'Just let me do this, coach'. So, we allowed him to do that and I was glad to see him respond, glad to see him get the last score."
"He's competitive, and you're always looking for a competitive guy. I think that's one of the major traits that you look for in a quarterback. They've gotta be competitive, they've gotta hate to lose and they've gotta hate the thought of being taken out of a game."
The Broncos offense may have stopped making it rain on the Raiders, but their defense didn't relent either until the final drive when the Raiders were able to put together a drive and a late touchdown on a pass from Derek Carr to Mychal Rivera that, in the sheme of this game, only really mattered if you had one of them on your fantasy team.
It's unlikely that late touchdown drive did anything to project the future success of the Raiders offense or Derek Carr. After all, the Raiders lead the league in touchdowns in the final two minutes of games. They have five of them and four of those were academic.
But who knows, maybe in the long run it will help Carr to have those late stat line decorating scores. Maybe, just as Olson said, it will help earn the respect of his teammates. It will certainly limit the possibility of Matt Schaub coming in and threatening his job security. Not that he would, but keeping him in a ballcap certainly limits that possibility. You can't argue with a young player eager to get the most time on an NFL field early in his career either.