During Thursday’s primetime game against the Kansas City Chiefs, it seemed as though the Oakland Raiders were unable to capitalize on opportunities. Quarterback Derek Carr, with an injured pinky, had to fight through freezing weather conditions and unfortunately put forth his worst game of the season.
Coming into the game, it seemed as though the entire roster was healthy. However, offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele was a game-time scratch due to an illness that sent him to the hospital. Without their typical five-man offensive line, Jack Del Rio and the coaching staff had to adjust their game plan.
The Chiefs were able to get pressure on Carr throughout the night, as they totaled one sack and four quarterback hits. With an injured finger, Carr was scrambling constantly throughout the night and his throws weren’t as crisp as many expected.
A key play in the game came during the fourth quarter, with about 10 minutes remaining. With the Raiders trailing 21-13, a touchdown and two-point conversion would have tied the game.
On the snap, Carr broke free on a botched play and had Cooper running down the sideline with his hand up. In a play that Del Rio stated they have executed multiple times, Carr hoisted up a throw to Cooper.
Unfortunately, speculation occurred that Carr’s throw was deflected by a camera light or wire, causing it to redirect away from Cooper. After the game, Carr was asked about the play and stated he gave Cooper an opportunity to catch the ball, via Raiders.com:
“I haven’t talked to him yet, but I want to ask the same thing,” Carr said. “I don’t know. I threw it up to give him a chance to track it and for whatever reason it did not go our way obviously.”
Based off his honest response, it seems as though Carr may have not seen the end result of the play, or at least the projectory of the ball.
Cooper had cornerback Marcus Peters beat on the play, just simply waiting for the ball to land in his hands. However, as the ball flailed towards him, he threw his hands up in disbelief at the result.
The rest of the Raiders were in awe of the result, as Cooper’s route seemed like a proper one. Cooper was asked about the result of that play and stated that the ball seemed to be misdirected:
“I didn’t stumble. The ball as it was coming down moved at the last minute,” Cooper stated. “That’s why it looked like I might have stumbled. I was running in the right direction and it kind of moved inside at the last minute and I didn’t have time to get it.”
The incident caused quite the stir, as the Raiders were on the brink of performing a huge comeback. Carr and the unit has been a significant fourth quarter comeback team this season, which means that play could have been the catalyst.
You can watch the play here in slow motion and let us know what you think, courtesy of Warren Sharp’s YouTube account: