There are few words that better describe what Derek Carr pulled off last Sunday vs the Saints than CLUTCH. That’s how the NFL saw it when he was nominated for the Castrol Edge Clutch Player of the Week award. And that’s how the voters saw it as well.
He won the award primarily for leading the Raiders on a late touchdown drive followed by a game-winning two-point conversion. But that wasn’t all he did. Here’s a recap:
Down 24-13 in the fourth quarter, and with a makeshift offensive line, Carr went to work. He connected with Amari Cooper for 43 yards up the left sideline and then threw a ball on a rope to Michael Crabtree up the seam for 25 yards to put them at the 2-yard-line. Two plays later, Olawale would run it in for the score. Carr would pass up Seth Roberts in the flat on the two-point conversion attempt and opt for a covered Cooper instead and the attempt was defended incomplete.
A Saints field goal was followed by the big run by Richard to put the Raiders within two. Carr would get another shot at a two-point conversion and he went back to Cooper. This time Cooper went up high to pull it down at the pylon to tie up the game.
Another Saints touchdown drive would put them back up seven. Then Carr came out and led the Raiders on a 75-yard drive that took 5:16 off the clock. On the drive, Carr hooked up with Clive Walford for 18 yards and escaped pressure to connect with Michael Crabtree for 12 yards. The drive nearly ended twice with the Saints being called for pass interference both times. The second PI set the Raiders up at the 13-yard line. Two plays later, Seth Roberts went on a cross where Carr had the ball right on his chest for the touchdown.
Down by one point, Del Rio showed faith in Carr and went for two. Carr was going for Crabtree all the way and put the ball up high where Crabtree went up and got it. That would be the game winner as the Raiders beat the Saints 35-34 to begin the season 1-0.