News that the universe may in fact be a hologram was overshadowed by the Oakland Raiders’ 41-31 win against the Seattle Seahawks Thursday night. As improbable as beating the Super Bowl champions seemed, it was Derek Carr’s godly performance which had fans questioning reality.
With Matt Schaub (elbow) and the Raiders’ best skill position athletes sitting out, Carr earned the start and never looked back. On Oakland’s first possession, he helped spark a 12-play, 68-yard drive through the gut of Seattle’s first team. Carr converted two long third down situations and challenged Richard Sherman twice, one a throw snagged by Denarius Moore one-handed to move the sticks. Latavius Murray eventually punched in a five-yard rushing touchdown, which cemented his own strong night carrying seven times for 42 yards in the first quarter.
A fumble recovery on the ensuing kickoff gave Carr back the wheel, and the signal caller nailed a streaking Denarius Moore (who torched ex-Raider Phillip Adams) for a 36-yard score. One Seahawks’ three-and-out later, T.J. Carrie returned a punt 45 yards which set up a deflected pass miraculously into the hands of Mychal Rivera for another touchdown.
Carr steered an eight-play, 61-yard march for his final drive of the game, drilling Moore in the left corner of the endzone early in the second quarter. The 2014 second round pick finished 11 of 13 for 143 yards, three touchdowns and a 152.1 quarterback rating.
Matt McGloin couldn’t maintain his preseason momentum in relief of Carr going 10 of 19 for 105 yards with a touchdown and an interception returned for six, but it was his former rival Terrelle Pryor who played exceptionally well against a team well aware of his weaknesses. Pryor substituted Seahawks’ second-stringer Tarvaris Jackson and willed an 87-yard touchdown drive beginning 1:50 before the half. He contributed to a field goal in the third quarter, and Al Davis’ last draft pick showed unseen touch on deep throws to go 11 of 17 for 134 yards and a 108.5 passer rating.
Pryor’s backup, B.J. Daniels, was similarly impressive completing 5 of 9 throws for 71 yards, a touchdown and a 118.3 rating. But the second-year Seahawk will likely be cut unless the club decides to ignore conventional wisdom.
All in all, those who tuned in to the Raiders’ and Seahawks’ final exhibition game were rewarded with an out-of-this-world offensive showcase. Attention will remain on Oakland head coach Dennis Allen and his possibly premature declaration to start Schaub in the regular season opener versus the New York Jets September 7.
Photo Credit: Marcio Sanchez / Associated Press