In a game that posed many different lead changes, the Oakland Raiders went on the road against the Baltimore Ravens and clinched their first franchise victory at M&T Bank Stadium. Trailing by six points, quarterback Derek Carr carried the offense down the field and secured yet another game-winning drive.
The Raiders find themselves at 3-1, their best start in a decade. While they still trail the 4-0 Denver Broncos in the AFC West, the Raiders have made statements this season. In a peculiar fashion, head coach Jack Del Rio has won all three road games this season in games that have come down to the wire.
Both the offense and defense have produced during big moments, a testament to the work Del Rio has put in. Although the Raiders lost their only game at the Coliseum this season, they return home on a high note in their Week 5 matchup against the San Diego Chargers.
Carr, who set a career-high four touchdowns in the victory, sat down for an interview with his brother and NFL Network’s David Carr. David and his cohost joked around, with Derek needing four more touchdowns to pass his brother’s career total of 65.
When asked if that had any significance to him, Derek cracked a slight joke at his brother and also thanked his offensive line for keeping him upright:
“You can only throw touchdowns if you’re on your two feet and that didn’t happen for him,” Carr said. “I’m very thankful for my O-line.”
While the joke did provide a humorous tone during the interview, there is some truth behind the statement. Through four games this season, the 25-year-old quarterback has only been sacked twice.
According to Raiders media relations personnel Evert Geerlings, the Raiders have strongly protected their quarterback this season:
Sacks allowed / pass attempt (@NFL teams in 2016):
1. @RAIDERS – 1.31%
2. 49ers – 2.52%
3. Jets – 3.89%
4. Eagles – 3.92%
5. Giants – 3.95%
— Evert Geerlings (@E_Geerlings) October 4, 2016
The offensive line suffered a number of injuries to begin the season, pushing the team to make some changes. Offensive tackles Austin Howard and Matt McCants missed Week 3, while Howard and fellow tackle Menelik Watson missed Week 4.
While the Raiders have continued to win through adversity, the team has continued to have fun. After Carr connected with Michael Crabtree on the game-winning touchdown, he was seen giving a one-sided chest bump to his head coach.
Carr alluded to his teammates and coaching staff when stating that the team truly believes in each other and what they can accomplish:
“It’s awesome to be able to go out there with my teammates and just trust and believe in one another that there is no doubt in our minds that we’re going to win.”
The Week 5 matchup against the Chargers is set for a 1:25 P.M., Pacific Time start. The AFC West matchup will surely be a stepping-stone, as the Raiders attempt to garner their first home victory of the season.