After spending the first 11 weeks of the season quietly climbing into the MVP race, Derek Carr crashed-and-burned his way out of it on Sunday with one of the most disastrous performances that we’ve seen from any quarterback in the NFL this year. In a loss that probably gave Raiders fans some serious deja vu, Carr turned the ball over four times during an embarrassing 43-6 loss to the Falcons. Overall, the Raiders turned the ball over five times and those turnovers led to 23 points for Atlanta, which is how this blowout happened.
Although the Falcons gave a gutsy defensive performance, most of the blame for the Raiders’ loss has to fall on the shoulders of Carr, who looked absolutely lost on the field. Before Sunday, Carr had never turned the ball over more than three times in a game in his career.
Carr’s first turnover came with just over eight minutes to play in the first quarter and it came on a play where he should have been able to hold on to the ball. As he tried to step up in the pocket, Carr’s arm got hit by Atlanta’s Foye Oluokun, and somehow, the ball came out.
Even though the Raiders defense held the Falcons to exactly zero yards on the ensuing possession, Atlanta was able to get a field goal out of the possession, which means Carr gave the Falcons three points.
The only thing worse than giving a team three points is giving them seven and that’s what Carr did in the second half. With the game still within reach at 16-3 and the Raiders driving for a potential score, Carr threw a pick-six to Deion Jones that basically iced the game. As you can see below, Carr threw way behind his receiver, which helped turn the play into an easy score for Jones.
The Raiders quarterback finished 22 of 34 for 215 yards to go along with his pick-six.
Carr has been so good this season, it’s hard to say what led to Sunday’s disaster, but if you’re a Raiders fan, you’re probably at least a little worried and that’s because this year is starting to feel a lot like last year. In 2019, the Raiders had a 6-4 record heading into a Week 12 game in the eastern time zone that they were supposed to win. In that case, the Raiders ended up losing 34-3 to the Jets, and after that, their season spiraled out of control. In their final six games, the Raiders would go 1-5 to finish 7-9.
This year, a 6-4 Raiders flew to Atlanta to face a Falcons team they were favored by to beat and fell flat on their face. The biggest problem for the Raiders is that they don’t really have a margin for error anymore. At 6-5, they’re currently in the ninth spot of the AFC playoff race.
Although the Raiders have the benefit of playing an easier schedule down the stretch with games against the Jets, Chargers and Broncos still left to play, the fact that they’re “easy” doesn’t mean anything, especially when we’re talking about a team that got blown out in a game they needed to win.
Alright, let’s get to the grades for every game from Week 12. If you’re looking for a deeper dive on the Washington-Cowboys game that was played on Thanksgiving, be sure to click here. On the other hand, if you’d like a deeper dive on the Texans‘ win over the Lions, be sure to click here.
Atlanta 43-6 over Las Vegas
N.Y. Giants 19-17 over Cincinnati
Minnesota 28-27 over Carolina
Miami 20-3 over N.Y. Jets
Cleveland 27-25 Jacksonville
New England 20-17 over Arizona
Cardinals-Patriots grades by Tyler Sullivan (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Tennessee 45-26 over Indianapolis
Colts-Titans grades by Jordan Dajani (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Buffalo 27-17 over L.A. Chargers
Chargers-Bills grades by Josh Edwards (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
San Francisco 23-20 over L.A. Rams
49ers-Rams grades by Bryan DeArdo (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
New Orleans 31-3 over Denver
Saints-Broncos grades by Jeff Kerr (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Kansas City 27-24 Tampa Bay
Chiefs-Buccaneers grades by Patrik Walker (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)