Derek Carr

Turns Out The Red Zone INT By Derek Carr Was A Horrible Throw

Red zone woes are nothing new for Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. He’s arguably one of the worst in that phase of the game; that much can’t be debated. However, a costly turnover last Thursday night turned the tide of the game and, in many ways, ended the season.

This is nothing new from Raiders QB Derek Carr…

Just in case you’re weary of the opening statement, simply put, the numbers don’t lie. Since 2014, Carr has thrown for 14 red zone interceptions, which is tied for the lead, per ESPN stats. Poor coaching and scheme certainly share the blame, but the on-field decision-making ultimately lies with the quarterback. Of course, Carr apologists will never accept this, adding it to their infinite list of excuses for No. 4. Nevertheless, the renowned and respected Peter King highlighted Carr’s costly throw against the Los Angeles Rams in his most recent Football Morning in America.

“With 56 seconds left in the second quarter and the Raiders up 13-3, Vegas faced third-and-five at the Rams’ 10-yard line. An incompletion here, and the Raiders go into halftime up 16-3. A completion and a TD in the final minute, and the Raiders go into halftime up 20-3. Instead, Carr threw an incomprehensible pop fly with four Rams and one Raider anywhere near the ball. It is one of the worst throws I’ve ever seen in a situation like that. Say the Raiders get a field goal there. Then, with five minutes left in the game, it’s 19-3 Raiders, and the Rams need two touchdowns and two two-point conversions to tie the game and send it to overtime. As it was, the Rams scored two TDs and two PATs and escaped with a win. Carr’s mistake didn’t happen in the final couple of minutes, but it didn’t have to—the terrible pick reverberated till the end of the game.”

There’s more to the story… 

King is right in his assessment as far as the implications for the score of the game. Yes, had the Raiders been able to punch it in for the touchdown, it would have kept all the momentum on the Raiders’ side. However, on the flipside, there’s a strong possibility that head coach Josh McDaniels still goes ultra-conservative in an effort to protect the lead. Therefore, the Rams would’ve still had a chance considering the collapses we’ve seen from the Raiders this season.

As far as the actual throw, Carr apologists continue to harp on the notion that Carr was hit on the play. Here’s the thing: They’re not exactly wrong. Carr’s throw had its trajectory affected by the contact. Even so, people are missing King’s point. Carr’s decision to even force this on Hollins with four Rams players near him is what is egregious. It was terrible decision-making in the moment. After that, there was still another half to play, with the offense falling flat due to coaching. As mentioned before, McDaniels’ decision to protect the lead instead of letting Carr and Davante Adams resume their connection was a bigger cause for this defeat than a single interception.

*Top Photo: Raiders Official YouTube Channel

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