Derek Carr is playing at his best this season in clutch situations.
Carr, who helped the Raiders to a 26-24 victory over the Chargers last week, is the highest-rated quarterback in the NFL this season on third down.
Carr’s third-down passer rating is 140.1, topping even Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs (135.3) and Matthew Stafford of the Lions (116.3).
Also, according to the Raiders, Carr leads the NFL on third downs in passing touchdowns (10), passing yards (777) and passer rating, while being second in yards-per-attempt (9.5). He also hasn’t thrown an interception on third down this season.
And, Carr is gaining momentum. Over the past six games, he’s thrown 10 TD passes against just one interception, has a passer rating of 110.1, is completing 69.4 percent of his throws and is averaging 250.5 yards passing per game, according to James Palmer of the NFL Network.
Overall, Carr ranks No. 6 in the NFL in passer rating at 104.4 and has 14 TD passes vs. four interceptions.
As the 5-4 Raiders head into Sunday’s game against the winless Bengals in Oakland, Carr seems fully in control of Jon Gruden’s offense.
When Carr led the Raiders to a comeback win over the Chargers last Thursday night, it was the 19th time he’s quarterbacked Oakland to a victory after being tied or behind late in the game.
After some rough seasons, Carr is enjoying this ride.
“I just love this team,” Carr said after the win over the Chargers. “I love this organization so much. I get emotional talking about it because I’ve been through so many highs and lows in this place. These fans have stuck behind me the whole way and it’s a lot of fun to win front of them. … To go down there in a two-minute drive and win the game on a run play, I just love that for our offensive line.”
Kickoff for Sunday’s game is set for 1:25 p.m.