The first half of the Raiders week 13 loss to the Chiefs started well. At half, the Raiders had a 14-7 lead and after three quarters, held a 20-14 lead. That's when the game went off the rails in Oakland. On the first drive of the fourth quarter, Derek Carr threw his first of three interceptions.
With a one score lead, it's important not to ease up and get conservative. That's how the Raiders have let teams back in games all season. It's also important to take what the defense gives you. That's not what Derek Carr did and it cost the Raiders big time.
"Probably doing too much," Jack Del Rio said of Carr's interceptions. "You can't turn the ball over. And in doing so, we put ourselves in some really bad spots."
As we know, the explanation for an interception isn't always that simple. Carr has certainly shown some ‘gun slinger' qualities in his first couple seasons in the NFL. Though the explanation about his second and third interceptions was a bit more complicated than simply that he was trying to do too much.
"On the first one, absolutely," Derek Carr said of whether he was trying to do too much. "On the second one, I didn't feel that way and the third one I didn't feel that way. It's just that we were at that point in the game."
"The first one, I mean, just trying to make a play. Seth [Roberts] popped wide open, did a great job, I got hit when I was going to throw it to him. The second one, [Michael Crabtree's] feet just got tangled up. I threw the ball on time, I usually do. They were playing man coverage and the dude not covering him man caught it. Then the third one to [Amari Cooper], we were just down, just trying to make a throw. It's a tight window throw. It's probably not a throw I would throw early on in the game, but when we need some chunk plays, gotta make some tight throws like that. It just happened to get tipped up."
All three interceptions were converted into Chiefs' touchdowns.
That first interception gave up the lead. Josh Mauga intercepted it at the line and returned it to the 3-yard-line. The Chiefs scored two plays later to tie up the game.
The second interception gave the Chiefs the lead. It was returned to the 13-yard-line and the Chiefs scored on one play.
The third interception was the nail in the coffin that sent the Raiders to a 34-20 defeat.
This was the first three interception game of Derek Carr's career. It was also half his entire season total of his first 11 games of the season (6) to put him at 9 interceptions this year.