November 27, 2014

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) There's not much Derek Carr hasn't seen in his first season with the Oakland Raiders, from Rex Ryan's exotic blitz packages in New York to the dominant defensive fronts of Arizona and Kansas City.

The rookie quarterback kept the Raiders going as they suffered through 10 consecutive losses to begin the season, then led them on a coming-of-age game-winning drive on national television to end the skid.

It's all been a part of the growing process for Carr, who has a growing legion of fans around the league.

St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher is among them.

''You can tell they have a franchise quarterback now,'' said Fisher, whose team plays the Raiders on Sunday in St. Louis. ''He's developing. It looks like each week he's getting better, making good decisions (and) obviously has a strong arm.''

Carr was the fourth quarterback selected in the draft when the Raiders took him in the second round out of Fresno State, but he long ago began to stand out from the other three - Minnesota's Teddy Bridgewater, Jacksonville's Blake Bortles and Cleveland's Johnny Manziel.

He became only the 12th rookie in NFL history to pass for more than 2,000 yards in his team's first 10 games. Carr did it despite getting little support from Oakland's running game most of the year.

The first rookie quarterback to ever start a season opener for the Raiders, Carr also owns the franchise rookie record for passing yards (2,249) and touchdowns (14) - with five games still left to play.

None of it seemed to matter much, however, until Carr guided Oakland on a 17-play, 80-yard drive that took more than seven minutes off the clock and culminated with a touchdown pass to wide receiver James Jones with 1:42 left to play against the Chiefs on Nov. 20.

''I will say it was a relief that it ended up in a win,'' Carr said. ''I was tired of coming in the next day and having to watch the film on a loss. Everything is better when you win.''

It was the sixth time this season that Carr engineered a touchdown in the final two minutes of a game. That it gave the Raiders their first win of the year and ended the franchise's 16-game losing streak made it that much sweeter.

''Experience is one of the best teachers there is,'' Oakland offensive coordinator Greg Olson said Friday. ''He's never a guy that's looking at the scoreboard and wondering whether this touchdown matters or not. He's trying to go out there and score.''

Several of his Oakland teammates have praised Carr, not only for the poise he showed in the huddle on the winning drive against the Chiefs but for how he's handled himself all season.

Left guard Khalif Barnes has repeatedly credited Carr for being ''mature beyond his years,'' while running back Darren McFadden said earlier this season that Carr long ago quit being looked at by his peers as a normal rookie.

None of it is surprising to Rams strong safety T.J. McDonald.

McDonald grew up in Fresno, and his father, former NFL star Tim McDonald, was an assistant coach with the Bulldogs for one season while Carr was there.

''One thing about him that's always stood out is his leadership ability and the intangibles at quarterback,'' T.J. McDonald said. ''He's a guy that guys just seem to gravitate toward and always has a positive attitude.''

Notes: RB Latavius Murray was limited and still has yet to be fully cleared after suffering a concussion last week against the Chiefs. ... LG Gabe Jackson (knee), S Larry Asante (shoulder), CB TJ Carrie (ankle) and S Jonathan Dowling (back) were also limited.

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