Oakland Raiders: Keys to the Game Against Denver

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Nov 2, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) throws a pass against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Carr Limiting Mistakes

Despite having strong numbers in terms of passing yardage and touchdowns in the first half of his rookie season, Derek Carr has still been prone to the rookie mistake from time to time during the opening eight games of the season. That was no more evident than last Sunday in Seattle where Carr’s two worst throws on the day turned out to be the difference as interceptions from Bruce Irvin and Richard Sherman turned into a 10 point Seahawks swing in the first half in the Raiders 30-24 loss.

Carr eventually buckled down and brought the Raiders back into the game with touchdown throws to tight end Mychal Rivera, but ultimately his first half miscues were too much to overcome for an Oakland team that is simply not good enough to overcome such errors this season. Handing the Super Bowl champions 10 points on the road was almost always going to result in a loss for the Raiders, and Carr’s throws were the difference between winning and losing even if it is hard to blame a rookie playing with a bad offense for making mistakes on the road against the Seahawks defense.

At home Carr will be tested once again by a Broncos defense that may just be as good as Seattle’s this season as save for last week when Tom Brady had a big outing against Denver, the defense in Colorado has been outstanding. With Aqib Talib and DeMarcus Ware joining Von Miller this season, the Broncos defense is easily better than the 2014 defense that gave Terrelle Pryor all sorts of problems which makes Carr’s gameplanning for Denver extremely difficult as his weak offensive unit prepares to go against one of the most dominant defenses in football.

All Carr can do to make sure that the offense succeeds is to make the right decisions and to limit his mistakes. Throwing plenty of touchdowns this season it is clear that he can make the right decisions and the right throws the majority of the time, but if he makes the errors he made in Seattle there will be a familiar result at the end of the game. If Oakland are going to upset the Broncos, Carr has to play a perfect game that shows why he is being considered the best quarterback of the 2014 draft class.