Few teams in the NFL were more clutch than the Raiders. And when it wasn’t Derek Carr leading them back from behind for a win, it was Khalil Mack slamming the door. Often times, both players in the same game. For that reason, both have been nominated for the Castrol Edge Clutch Performer of the Year.
Carr was an MVP candidate this season based on the purest sense of the term — because his late game heroics were invaluable to the Raiders 12-win season and clinching their first playoff berth in 14 years. He took home the Clutch Performer of the Week four times during the season.
For Carr, this wasn’t just a matter of Raiders fan voting. He actually made NFL history this season by becoming the first ever NFL quarterback with five game-winning touchdown passes in the fourth quarter or overtime in a season. He also set a franchise record with seven fourth-quarter comeback/game-winning drives this season.
Mack had several games this season which he sealed the win with a strip sack and recovery. One of those came in week 13 which earned him his only Clutch Player of the Week win of the season. In total he had 5 forced fumbles on the season to go along with an 8-game sack streak. He also had an interception return for a touchdown.
As you might expect, this duo is the only two players from the same team to make the list of nominees. If you were a conspiracy theorist, you might say that since every single time a Raiders players was nominated for an award that was decided by a vote this season, that player won it, the people making the list could be hoping to split their votes.
In total the Raiders won Clutch Player of the Week honors seven times. Other than the four by Carr and one by Mack, the other two were won by Amari Cooper, and Sebastian Janikowski.
Other players nominated are Buccaneers receiver, Mike Evans, Titans QB Marcus Mariota, and Steelers receiver Antonio Brown.