After one of the craziest games you will ever see, the Las Vegas Raiders are 1-0. Of course, Derek Carr and the passing offense were a massive part of this win. Here is how they fared in a wild Week 1 game.
Simply put, the Raiders’ offense was awful in the first half. The early game plan was obvious; get the ball to Darren Waller often. However, the Ravens were expecting this one. At one point, Waller had been targeted seven times with just one catch. Derek Carr was locked in on Waller and seemed uninterested in targeting anyone else. The offense struggled immensely as a result, with the Ravens doing a good job of limiting Waller early on.
Overall, Carr struggled in the first half. This was especially true in the first quarter as Carr played maybe the worst quarter of his career. The quarterback often seemed too amped up. He just straight up didn’t see Henry Ruggs III and Waller wide open down the field on separate plays as well. Missing in all areas to receivers in all levels of the field, Carr will want to forget that first quarter of football.
Luckily for Carr, this will not be hard to do as the offense looked totally different after the second half. The biggest reason? The Carr to Waller connection was back in full swing. On Waller’s 29th birthday, he had another incredible game. With ten catches and 105 yards, Waller had a huge touchdown to tie the game late in the fourth. A fantastic game from ‘83′, he proved he’s going to pick up right where he left off.
Birthday party in the endzone for Darren Waller 🥳
Raiders and Ravens tied up at 24!
— ESPN (@espn) September 14, 2021
The second half was much kinder to second-year wideouts Bryan Edwards and Ruggs as well. After being a non-factor in the first half, Ruggs had a huge 37-yard catch to set up the Waller touchdown late in the fourth. He would finish with two catches for 46 yards. Edwards was the star of the show at the end of the game. The offseason’s darling caught both of Carr’s passes on the last drive of regulation.
After setting up the game-tying field goal, Edwards believed he had won the game with a touchdown in overtime. Alas, it was called back as he was confirmed to be down at the one-yard line. Edwards would finish the game with four catches for 81 yards, all of which came in the fourth quarter or overtime.
What about Carr?
Of course, Carr was also amazing in the second half. Routinely finding receivers to all levels of the field, Carr executed the offense to perfection. Most notable was the conviction the quarterback showed. At times, he was calling his own plays at the line of scrimmage. Carr completed 34 out of 56 passing attempts with 435 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. The interception was hardly Carr’s fault as it went straight through Willie Snead’s hands. He was also able to notch another game-winning touchdown pass after hitting a wide-open Zay Jones to walk it off.
DEREK CARR. ZAY JONES. GAME pic.twitter.com/L6FxrQfIrK
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) September 14, 2021
A hot start with room for improvement
The most exciting part of this game for Raiders fans is the resiliency shown by Carr and the offense. After a horrid first quarter, Carr bounced back with a highlight performance in his career. With a hotter start, who knows if this game is even close at the end. Truly, it was more of the same in this game as Waller dominated and the receivers complimented him well. With playmakers littered throughout the offense, Raider Nation has reasons to be excited as their team heads to Pittsburgh next week.
*Top Photo: Kirby Lee / USA Today