Carr looks to bounce back and clinch playoffs for Raiders
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) After playing perhaps his worst game as a pro on the biggest stage he's had in three seasons in the NFL, Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr wanted to get back on the field the day after his loss in Kansas City.
Instead, Carr will have to wait 10 days for another shot when Oakland (10-3) visits San Diego (5-8) on Sunday.
Despite that loss, the Raiders can clinch a playoff spot with a win against the Chargers and end a 13-year postseason drought. That would complete a remarkable turnaround for a team that started Carr's rookie season in 2014 with 10 straight losses.
''Starting 0-10 was not fun,'' Carr said Wednesday. ''It makes these moments so awesome. It makes these moments really to already have 10 wins. I know for our team our sole focus is beating the Chargers because if we don't, we're still hoping and wishing.''
Oakland's 21-13 loss to Kansas City (10-3) last week cost the Raiders control of the AFC West with the Chiefs holding the tiebreaker by virtue of sweeping the season series.
Oakland can still win the division by posting a better record than Kansas City over the final three games or get in as a wild-card team with another win.
But the main focus will be fixing an offense that struggled to move the ball in the air in frigid Kansas City against the Chiefs. Carr went 17 for 41 for 117 yards, posting a career-low 49.1 rating. Carr had his second-lowest completion percentage in a game and set a worst with 2.85 yards per attempt.
''It was just execution, it was literally inches,'' Carr said. ''There were a whole bunch of plays I think about that we always hit that for whatever reason, sometimes it was good feet and the route was good and we just missed by an inch. Sometimes that happens in practice and you never want it to happen in games.''
It hadn't happened in games much at all this season for Carr and the Raiders, who have used their high-powered passing game to become one of the top teams in the league.
Despite the rough day against the Chiefs, Carr still has thrown for 3,492 yards, 24 touchdowns and only five interceptions for a 96 passer rating and taken only 13 sacks.
Amari Cooper has already topped 1,000 yards receiving and Michael Crabtree could join him with 194 yards in the final three games, giving Oakland its first pair of 1,000-yard receivers since Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Tim Brown did it in 2001.
But Carr struggled to get the ball to either Cooper or Crabtree last week as they combined for 50 yards receiving on 17 targets. One pass in particular, still haunts Oakland.
On a third down midway through the fourth quarter, Carr eluded pressure and launched a deep ball to an open Cooper, who got behind the defense and appeared ready to score a touchdown.
But at the last minute the ball mysteriously changed directions and fell incomplete as Cooper was unable to adjust. The Raiders still don't know what happened with some speculation that it hit a camera wire, despite denials from NBC.
''You can't really tell because you can't see the ball the whole way through,'' Cooper said. ''It definitely moved, but you can't really tell what actually happened to it.''
NOTES: DL Mario Edwards Jr. participated in his most extensive practice since injuring his hip in the preseason opener but no decision has been made whether to activate him from IR this week. ''I don't really know yet,'' he said. ''Just kind of see how the week goes. ... S Karl Joseph (toe) did not practice, but DT Darius Latham (ankle) and OL Kelechi Osemele (kidney stones) returned.
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