Derek Carr sees the world through rose-colored lenses. The Raiders quarterback can find light in dark days, put a positive spin on most anything.
Not Sunday. He refused to sugar coat a 26-15 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs might’ve killed the Raiders’ playoff hopes.
Frustration was visible on his face, audible in his tone. This one hurt. Might for a while.
Carr wasn’t mad at anyone else. He was upset with himself, and made it clear the angry mob should stay at his door.
“It sucked,” Carr said after losing a virtual must-win game. “It was not good enough and you can put it all on me. Don’t you blame one coach, one player. It is all my fault.”
Look, Carr wasn’t good. This might’ve been one of his worst games as a pro, since his rookie year at least.
He had a 36.3 passer rating through three quarters, with 69 yards to his credit. The Raiders had three plays or less in six of their first eight drives. He finished with 211 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions, totals padded during a too-little, too-late fourth quarter comeback try.
Despite Carr’s desire to take all the blame, there’s plenty to go around. The game plan wasn’t great. The pass protection wasn’t superb. Michael Crabtree dropped two passes. Johnny Holton lost a fumble and had a pass clang off his hands and get intercepted.
Carr still points back at himself as the root of the Raiders’ offensive woes. He’s the triggerman. The buck apparently stops there.
“I get patted on the back when I throw for 300 yards, but I could tell you 15 plays that I screwed up,” Carr said. “I can play better all of the time. That is the life of this business, especially when you lose.”
Carr has taken his fair share of criticism this season, maybe more than at any point in his career. That comes with a high profile and a massive $125 million contract, with a fifth of that coming this year.
Carr is his harshest critic, and doesn’t point fingers. That’s not his style. He will use this experience and frustration to improve as a quarterback, and sure sport a smile next time he meets the press.
Not Sunday. Not after a disappointing day at Arrowhead Stadium. He’s 0-4 with dismal numbers in Kansas City, and wasn’t able to buck that trend in this one. That will stick with him when he looks back on a disappointing season.
“I am just frustrated with myself,” Carr said. “There are going to be plays that you want back, but that is every game. For a whole, I saw the coverage fine. I was going to certain places with the ball that I thought were right and all of those things.
“…we had some opportunities that we just did not connect on. Just can’t happen. There is no easy way to go through this one. This one sucked.”