Derek Carr and the Raiders offense had no problem driving the ball against a tough Dolphins defense accumulating 434 yards this past Sunday. But when the game was on the line, Carr made a crucial mistake throwing a red zone interception on a pass intended for Martavis Bryant.
On first down from the Miami 13-yard-line, Carr saw the Dolphins put Xavien Howard on Bryant with no safety help and decided to take a chance.
“I just saw one-on-one with Martavis (Bryant),” Carr explained after the game. “Obviously he was hot and he was doing some good things. I just gave him a chance, just like I have a hundred other times in my life.”
The decision may have cost the Raiders the game and a few days later, he changed his tune. Jon Gruden felt Carr’s decision was too aggressive, and in hindsight, the Raiders quarterback struck a different tune. Now he is trying to use it as a learning experience.
“We grew from it, we had a great talk about the situation and those kinds of things and our communication together,” Carr said Wednesday.
“I think that, situationally, which is hard to say, just more conservative and more patient, kill some more time kind of a thing would be smarter,” Carr continued. “Every time we got down there they were playing two-high and I then I see a single-high look, that’s always been a fault of mine – being too aggressive.”
Typically, a one-on-one matchup with Bryant on the outside isn’t a bad chance for Carr to take. But it was unnecessarily risky.
Rather than roll the dice with a jump ball, the smarter move would have been to throw it away and live to fight another down and keep the team in scoring position. Instead it may have cost the Raiders the game. Hopefully the 5th year quarterback can still live and learn from such decisions.