Derek Carr. If you watched the game you know what I’m talking about, if not, let me break it down for you.
It all started with a near-perfect drive by Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks offense that saw the defending Super Bowl champions march down the field pretty easily. Wilson ended the drive, and his night, completing all three of his passes and throwing a 25-yard touchdown pass. He opened up the game with a 44-yard bomb to Jermaine Kearse.
After that it became the Derek Carr show, and what a show it was. The rookie quarterback looked every bit the poised veteran that Matt Schaub is supposed to be. Perhaps he was filling in for Schaub who did not play this evening.
Either way Derek Carr proceeded to lead the Oakland Raiders down the field for two lengthy touchdown drives against one of the best defenses in the league last year (and presumably this year as well).
On the first drive we saw his ability to pick up third-and-long. In fact he did it twice.
His first one was early in the drive where he threw left to Brice Butler and the other on a perfect back-shoulder pass against Richard Sherman to Denarius Moore in the red zone. Latavius Murray picked up the touchdown.
Murray also had a fantastic game for the Raiders. He went head-on more than once with safety Earl Thomas and won each time. Eventually he would punch in Oakland’s first touchdown on a five-yard run where he displayed his ability to pick up the tough yards. The young running back would finish with eight carries for 41 yards and a touchdown.
He wasn’t done though, and after successive Seahawks turnovers was able to turn those into 14 more points. Carr found Moore for a touchdown on a 36-yard pass followed by a 20-yard pass to tight end Mychal Rivera on the next drive. Just like that it was 21-7 Raiders.
His second well-engineered drive ended in his third touchdown pass of the night and second to wideout Denarius Moore. After that his night was over, and Derek Carr finished with a very impressive 11 completions on 13 attemps for 143 yards and three touchdowns.
Matt McGloin then entered the game and had his moments as well, but was nowhere near Carr’s performance. McGloin finished with 10 completions on 19 attempts for 105 yards to go with one touchdown pass (to Brice Butler) and an interception. That interception resulted in a pick-six for the Seahawks.
One other name who impressed today was running back George Atkinson III as he was gaining yards in bunches. He would finish with an impressive eight carries for 63 yards. His most impressive run of the night was a 26-yard scamper up the gut after showing patience before hitting the hole in the line.
Defensively Neiko Thorpe was all over the field and by the end of the night he had eight tackles. Take that with a grain of salt, however, as he was heavily targeted, especially near the end of the first half. Thorpe was actually the one who allowed a Terrelle Pryor touchdown pass with just eight seconds left in the second quarter. He got caught watching the quarterback rather than following his man and got burned because of it.
Overall a great game by the Raiders, especially offensively, though defensively the second and third string guys left plenty to be desired. That will come with time though, so for now enjoy the win.
Lastly the question has to be asked… Did Derek Carr do enough tonight to earn the starting position over Matt Schaub?