We began this list of the Top Five revenge games for Derek Carr with their week four match-up with the Colts. That’s who they faced in the 2016 game in which Carr broke his fibula. But it was the following week – the season finale – against Denver that officially knocked the Raiders out of first place in the AFC West. That’s where the head once again this season and Derek Carr is hoping he will be on the field this time for the last of the top five Derek Carr revenge games of 2019.
If you like, you can start this series at the beginning with the week four vs the Colts.
Season finale in Denver
It must have been devastating for Carr to helplessly watch his team lose that game in Denver in 2016 after leading them to a 12-3 record and putting them in position to win the division. As far as season finale’s go, it was one of the more important ones for the Raiders over the past 16 years and he could do nothing but hope for the best.
There are a lot of what we call back breakers in sports. But usually we’re speaking figuratively. We use the term for those moments and those games when a team officially ends another team’s hopes. Then there is the rare instance in which that term is a literal one.
Derek Carr had such an instance. He literally broke his back against the Broncos.
The 2017 season was full of hope. The Raiders were coming off their first winning/playoff season in 14 years and were looking to do it again.
That season went off to a great start. They went 2-0 with wins in Tennessee and at home against the Jets and they were literally dancing on the sidelines.
The following week was the infamous protest week in Washington in which everything seemed to fall apart for the Raiders. Most fans seem to point to that game as a turning point. It might have been. But it also could have been the following week in Denver.
Carr had been sacked four times in Washington the week before and so he was a bit nervous back there. He dropped back for his 18th pass attempt, felt pressure and panicked, then suddenly there was Adam Gotsis, so Carr tucked to brace for the hit and put his back right into Gotsis’s knee.
You can’t really be blame Gotsis in this instance. Though with the fury of Raiders fans at the time, you’d think Gotsis went all Bane on Carr. But regardless, Carr left the game with what turned out to be three fractures in his back.
EJ Manuel came in for him and very nearly led the Raiders to a comeback win, but they would fall 16-10 to their bitter rivals that day. Manuel would start the following week against the Ravens and lose that game too. These games were part of a four-game losing streak, digging a hole the Raiders couldn’t fight their way out of.
That season the Raiders would finish 6-10, leading to the end of Jack Del Rio’s tenure as Raiders head coach a year after signing an extension, and ushering in the second Jon Gruden era. Now in his second season in Oakland, giving Derek Carr the same offensive coordinator for two consecutive seasons for the first time since the 2016 season, he is hoping to re-write the story of that season with a happier ending. A season that once again ends in Denver.
Helping Carr sleep some is having beaten the Broncos two of the last three times he’s faced them since that literal back breaking game. This includes the last time these two teams faced off in a primetime match-up last season in what some thought may have been the Raiders last game in Oakland. That was one of the best games in Carr’s career and it was in front of a national audience.
But I’d imagine those two wins since don’t in any way make up for the two losses that preceded them. You don’t get over such things so easily. Or rather he better not get over it so easily. This figures to be his last as an Oakland Raider before the team heads to Las Vegas. Whether it’s his last as a Raider altogether will depend wholly on how he performs in these revenge games — all of which happen to be away from Oakland — as well as all the other games in which he won’t have as much fuel to put on his fire.