Tyrann Mathieu had no problem identifying the person most responsible for the pain of the only loss for the Kansas City Chiefs in the last calendar year.
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr had his signature performance in a 40-32 win over the Chiefs on Oct. 11 at Arrowhead Stadium, a place where he had an 0-6 record and had played poorly each time.
“I thought he played a great game,” Mathieu told reporters in Kansas City. “He was patient, he was calm, he got his team in the right plays. Watching film of him the last couple of weeks, that’s what we really have to focus on. How can we disrupt him in the pocket? How can we get him to move his feet?”
The jittery, mistake-prone, short-of-the-stake Carr so common at Arrowhead had been transformed into a cool, calculating leader. He completed 22 of 31 passes for 347 yards and three touchdowns, including deep strikes of 59 yards to Nelson Agholor and 72 yards to rookie Henry Ruggs III.
It was the Chiefs first loss since Nov. 10 of last season, falling 35-32 to the Tennessee Titans. Kansas City won their last six regular-season games in 2019, plus two playoff games and the Super Bowl against the 49ers. This season, the Chiefs are 8-1 with the Raiders being the lone blemish.
347 pass yards, three touchdowns, and a huge Raiders win!
Highlights from @derekcarrqb’s Week 5 performance!@Raiders | #RaiderNation pic.twitter.com/QYYbuYIAP3
— NFL (@NFL) October 12, 2020
Looking back, Carr doesn’t see anything magical about it.
“Everyone just did their job,” Carr said. “If there was a blitz pickup, we picked up the blitz. If there was a route someone needed to win, we won that route . . . I don’t get caught up in that stuff, or what we did last time. None of that matters now. We’re going to play a totally new game. I’ve played in games where we scored 40 against somebody, and then played the same team and scored 13 or something like that. Each time you play somebody it’s totally different.”
During the Raiders’ three-game win streak, Carr’s numbers are down, as he’s 44 for 72 for 430 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. With a bad weather game in Cleveland and two games without left tackle Kolton Miller, the Raiders have gone old school in terms of the running game with 112 rushes for 572 yards in three games.
But the polish and improvement in Carr goes far beyond passing stats, and it’s noticeable to Mathieu, one of the NFL’s best and most instinctive defenders.
“I think Jon Gruden and Derek Carr, they’ve really been working well together, and you can really see that on tape,” Mathieu said. “So it’s going to be very important for us to really hone in on him from the very first play, to mix up different disguises, to not give him the easy way out, to really make him work from down to down.”
Raiders slot receiver Hunter Renfrow does as …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Sports