What Went Wrong On Derek Carr’s Second Interception?

Jon Gruden and Derek Carr were both relatively positive after Monday night’s 33-13 loss to the Rams. Carr was understandably disappointed in his play and Gruden said he wanted to look at the game film before jumping to any conclusions.

One play that Gruden won’t enjoy watching again will be Carr’s second interception of the night – a gentle lob to the sideline straight into the hands of a lonely Rams defender. It was one of the most concerning plays of the night by Carr and it basically sealed the Raiders fate.

Carr explained the play after the game and it sounds like his bad throw was essentially the product of indecision.

“Bad decision,” Carr said of the throw. “I went to throw it away, kind of maybe give the bench route a chance, but I saw the dude underneath it so I tried to pull it back with my hand and obviously that’s why it looked so terrible.”

So what was it that caused indecision?

Carr was only sacked once on the night, but on the play in question, the guards were pushed back five yards by the time he moved to his second read. Richard is an option (below), but Carr can feel the pressure and based on what he said after the game, the image below was his moment of indecision.

By the time Carr made the throw, there were no passing lanes and Aaron Donald is 7 yards into the backfield. Carr was leaning back and it doesn’t look like he could see everything that was happening downfield.

The spidecam shows what Carr saw before he threw the ball. Donald had just tossed Kelechi Osemele out of the way and was about to bury Carr in the infield dirt – or at least that’s what it looks like in the image below. Surely that’s what Carr was thinking.

Osemele actually recovered just enough to redirect Donald, but there’s no question Donald’s pressure rushed Carr into a poor decision.

By no means should it be considered an excuse, but Carr (like most QBs) tends to struggle with pressure up the middle. He doesn’t prefer to leave the pocket and it seemed to collapse on him for most of the second half.

Looking back, maybe a few calls with max protection or a planned bootleg would have slowed down the Rams defensive line and created a few plays downfield. But that’s one of the challenges of running an offense with tempo. The decisions come so quickly, the perfect play and protection doesn’t always get called.

twitter: @raidersbeat


1 thought on “What Went Wrong On Derek Carr’s Second Interception?

  1. I prefer to think Carr has gotten this out of his system. He had a bad game 2nd half against a really good defense that will make you pay for mistakes. A little better game plan might help. He isn’t going to make a living throwing to Jared Cook and his running backs all season. Gruden and Olsen have to challenge secondaries and not accept the fact that teams are going to try and take away your wide receivers. On the other hand, Cook could be headed for the most prolific season any tight end has ever seen.

Comments are closed.