Just as Derek Carr had inserted himself as a candidate into the race for the league’s MVP record, he stumbled and fell last week in Kansas City.
In the Raiders’ Thursday night loss to the Chiefs on national television, Carr had his worst game of the season.
Carr – who had posted quarterback ratings near or over 100.0 in four of his previous games, all victories – came in at just 49.1 in the 21-13 loss to the Chiefs, who took over possession of first place in the AFC West with the victory.
Carr completed only 41.4 percent of his throws (17-of-41) for a paltry 117 yards – just 2.85 yards per attempt. He was off target all night.
In its assessment of the worst- and top-performing NFL quarterbacks this past week, Carr ranked as second worst. Wrote ESPN: “The problem for Carr, who has been dealing with a finger injury, was inaccuracy.”
ESPN pointed out his completion percentage was the second-lowest of his career and that 14 passes were appraised as “off target,” because they were too high, too low or wide. That off-target percentage of 35 is the highest of any game in his NFL career.
Carr also failed to complete a pass of 15 yards or longer. His 117 passing yards are the second-fewest in a game in NFL history by a quarterback with 40 or more attempts, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
“It was definitely a bad night, there’s no getting around that,” Carr told reporters. “I hate to have the bad night come on this one, out of all the games that we’ve had. But obviously, we didn’t do enough. We all took turns, and I feel very responsible for that.”
The good news for the Raiders is they still are very much in the hunt for a playoff spot and can regain momentum with a victory over the Chargers in San Diego this Sunday afternoon.
In fact, Carr says he has a good feeling about going to San Diego this weekend. He recalls the Raiders’ 23-20 victory in December last season, when he was 23-of-38 for 204 yards and a touchdown.
“That was one of the first moments we were starting to see we can be a really explosive, dynamic offense,” Carr said on 95.7 The Game this week. Carr cited big catches by wideouts Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree. “We were running the ball well and we had a good thing going.”
Plus, this week, San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium could be filled with Raiders fans, as it has been many times in the past.
Said Carr: “When we go down to San Diego, it’s like another home game for us.”
Kickoff is set for 1:25 p.m.