Why Derek Carr’s biggest game of his career won’t faze him or the Raiders

Las Vegas Raiders, QB, Derek Carr (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)
Las Vegas Raiders, QB, Derek Carr (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images) /
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Las Vegas Raiders, C, Andre James
Las Vegas Raiders, C, Andre James (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images) /

Andre James – Center

The pressure was on when Andre James received a hefty contract extension from the Las Vegas Raiders last offseason with minimal starting experience. To fill the void of a former All-Pro center in Rodney Hudson is a tall order for anyone.

However, after a horrendous start (Weeks 1-6) to the season where he allowed 11 quarterback pressures and contributed sparsely in run blocking, James turned it around to finish the season. James only allowed five more pressures in the remaining 11 weeks of play. For someone that has received plenty of criticism while taking on a new role, Andre has performed sufficiently when many thought he could not.

Look for him to take advantage of a weaker interior defensive line today.

Josh Jacobs – Running Back

Although the Raiders running back started the season both frequently injured and relatively unproductive, Josh Jacobs turned it on when the team needed his contributions most. In the final three weeks, he averaged 4.6 yards per carry.

While that may not seem significant, it is far above his career average of 3.05. So again, while some doubted his durability and overall impact on the team’s production, the former Alabama standout showed why he went to one of the nation’s top collegiate programs.

A very familiar player with the big stages won’t have any issues today.

Darren Waller – Tight End

It’s been a tough season for star tight end Darren Waller. Between COVID-19 and injuries, he participated in just 11 games. However, despite the circumstances, Waller has made far more essential strides in his personal life. Not just this year, but for many years now. Today’s contest will be a formality in anxiety/stress for someone who has overcome so much off the field.

Hunter Renfrow – Wide Receiver

The Silver and Black’s premier receiver has had a season for the ages, but even he too has overcome so adversity. A former fifth-round draft pick was overlooked by many teams due to his more diminutive physical stature and possibly not having out-of-this-world athleticism. But, to Hunter Renfrow, that does not matter as he has been making the best defenders look outmatched since this past preseason.

Renfrow can and will beat anybody, and he has consistently proven that. Another former collegiate athlete who has played on superior stages is more than ready to perform against the Bengals. The above offensive players have overcome much, just like their defensive, special teams, and coaching counterparts.