The Oakland Raiders lost to Dallas on Sunday Nigh Football but despite the loss, there are reasons to be positive after the game if you’re an Oakland fan. No, the Raiders are not going to make the playoffs and no, they have not fixed the many problems plaguing this team. But when you watched the game, there was one thing in particular that should make you feel at least a little bit better moving forward into 2018 and that’s the mentality of Derek Carr.
For the first time since week two this season, we saw Derek Carr having fun. I know that may sound like an odd thing to focus, but not if you believe like I do, that Derek Carr’s mentality has been a major issue this season.
This is hands down Carr’s worst season of his career. He’s been skittish in the pocket, inaccurate and has made a ton of bad decisions. There are lots of theories on why it is that Carr has regressed this season, but to me it seems pretty obvious. After suffering a broken leg and a broken back, he was played scared. He was seeing ghosts in the pocket, feeling pressure that wasn’t there and as a result, he made bad decisions with the ball. He would get rid of the ball too quickly, often times making ill advised passes that resulted in picks or near picks.
And when there was real pressure, not just ghosts in Carr’s head, he would often simply crumble and take a sack rather than getting out of the pocket to extend the play. But on Sunday, in the second half in particular, that changed and in a big way. Carr started using his legs and that seemed to free his mind.
Carr was extending plays with his legs, scrambling for yards and in general, played with a fearlessness that we haven’t seen much this season at all.