An upset could have been in the cards for the Oakland Raiders on Sunday if not for two early miscues from rookie quarterback Derek Carr as an interception returned for a touchdown by Bruce Irvin as well as Richard Sherman’s first INT of the season led to 10 early points for the Seattle Seahawks proved the difference at the end of the game with the now 0-8 Raiders losing just 30-24 to the defending champions.
Without Carr’s miscues there was a good chance that the Raiders, who shut down quarterback Russell Wilson in the passing game on the road and contained running back Marshawn Lynch as much as they could, would have upset the Super Bowl champs as the -10 differential from Carr’s two worst decisions of the day were some of the biggest miscues that prevented Oakland from what could have been a memorable upset.
Carr’s back shoulder throw to Andre Holmes that was intercepted by Sherman came after Irvin’s Pick-6 and on a desperate 3rd down play where the rookie threw the ball up only to see Sherman pushing Holmes out of bounds to allow the best cornerback in football to get an easy read on an interception that gave Seattle another three points off a turnover. It is hard to blame Carr for trying to find Holmes, his best big play wideout, but the play ended up with a result that most will remember from the game after Sherman trash talked the rookie in the media during the week before backing up his words by making a big interception when targeted by Carr for the second time in the first half.
Safety Charles Woodson, who knows a thing or two about making receivers pay for throwing his way from his days as a cornerback, says that Carr likely should have thrown away from Sherman in hindsight.
From CSN Bay Area:
“That’s something Derek will have to learn from,” Woodson said. “(He has) to pick and choose when he goes at a player like Richard. Maybe he should have went somewhere else or thrown a different type of ball.
“Those are things he will continue to get better at as he continues to grow as a player in this league.”
Carr’s other targets on Sherman were fine as the rookie did get an early first down on Sherman on the opening field goal drive for the Raiders, but the back shoulder throw was a poor one and likely a decision he would like to have back. Even if he was on target, Holmes was being shielded out of bounds, making it unlikely that a first down completion was in the cards. Carr has shown a reliance on throwing to his outside receivers on 3rd and long this season to varying success, this time it cost him in going against the elite Sherman with a throw that was simply too easy for the Seahawks cornerback to take the other way. Something that Woodson knows all about and likely will teach Carr this week in knowing when to, and when not to, test the best defensive backs in the game.