This weeks turning point play of the game came with 1:13 left in the third quarter. The Raiders trailed 20-3 and on the 11th play of a 74-yard drive, the Raiders faced a 1st and goal from the Chargers one yard line.
This was a crucial play in the game for many reasons, but to this point the Raiders offense had done very little in the game. It was imperative that they finish the drive with a touchdown and cut the Chargers lead to ten.
Rather than pounding the ball up the gut with Marshawn Lynch, Gruden opted to get cute and play fake to Lynch. The result was a disaster. Derek Carr’s pass was intercepted by Melvin Ingram.
Carr said he wasn’t forcing the ball to Carrier. “Ingram made a play.” Looks like a forced ball to me. Gruden should have never put him in that situation. Run the ball. pic.twitter.com/OtioLG8Cio— Evan Groat (@Egroat5) October 8, 2018
Here is how Derek Carr described the play.
“They did a good job of covering the first two guys,” said Carr. “Derek Carrier popped late and beat his guy. I saw that he beat his guy and by the time I threw it, Melvin Ingram who had been on the run made a great play. I wasn’t trying to force it. I saw our guy win and I was trying to throw it in the backline to him, but they made a play and that was the one.”
When you watch the play from Carr’s perspective you can see that indeed Carrier did get open late. What Carr did not account for was Melvin Ingram who was helping in coverage on Jared Cook. Ingram read Carr’s eyes and at the last moment changed directions towards where Carr was looking.
Derek Carr’s perspective of his INT in the 3rd quarter. pic.twitter.com/gt8XDtRizo— Evan Groat (@Egroat5) October 9, 2018
The play Gruden would have rather seen was for Carr to throw the ball out of the end zone and give Lynch an opportunity on second down. The interception was a total momentum killer, and a major negative turning point in the game.