We’re approaching midseason and reach the third game on the Raiders schedule in which Derek Carr should be fueled by a bit of revenge. First up was the Colts in week four and then the Bears in London. This next one goes way back.
Houston Texans week eight
The Texans are a team which Derek Carr is quite familiar. He spent a good portion of his teenage years in Houston, which is where he gets that mild Southern drawl despite growing up in Bakersfield California.
The reason Derek spent so much time in Houston is because his brother was playing quarterback for the Texans for five seasons.
David was the number one overall pick in the 2002 draft as the expansion Texans’ first every draft pick. He was looked upon as a can’t miss, franchise quarterback, but the Texans basically ruined him. They didn’t invest in his offensive line and every week little Derek watched his brother get absolutely destroyed. To be exact, David was sacked 249 times including an incredible 76 times his rookie season.
Those five seasons were the end of David Carr’s career as an NFL starter. He would start four more games for the Panthers and then spend four seasons as Eli Manning’s backup in New York before calling it a career and becoming a studio analyst.
Watching his brother get beat up and sacked week after week traumatized Derek. And he lived through this form age 12 to 17 -- the years in which his football skills would be formed the most. It’s the reason he has such a short clock in his head when he’s in the pocket.
This revenge is about more than just his brother.
In 2016, when Derek led the Raiders to their first playoff berth in 14 years, one of his 12 wins came against the Texans. It would have been the only time he had to face them that season, but in week 16 he broke his fibula. This led to a loss to the Broncos in the season finale, which dropped the Raiders to the wild card slot and sent them to Houston to play the Texans.
So, here the Raiders were. In the city Carr called his second home for five years. Facing the team he once rooted for because of his brother and came to resent because of what they did to his brother and once again, he there he was, feeling as helpless as his 12-year-old self to do anything.
The Texans – who had no business winning that game otherwise – would beat the Raiders who were led by rookie Connor Cook making his first ever start. Cook threw three interceptions and was sacked three times while completing just 18 passes.
A midseason win over the Texans won’t take away the deep sting for Carr, but it would sure feel a lot better to light them up.