Raiders

Inside Derek Carr's game-winning drive that pushed Raiders past Lions

Inside Derek Carr's game-winning drive that pushed Raiders past Lions

OAKLAND -- Jalen Richard has joined Derek Carr on several fourth-quarter, game-winning drives since becoming a member of the Raiders in 2016. The running back knows how his captain signal-caller operates in the clutch.

When Carr entered the Raiders huddle with roughly five minutes left in a tie game, Richard knew right away his quarterback was locked in.

“I saw it in his eyes,” Richard said. “You know when DC gets that look? … In times when you really, really need it, you see the greatness coming. He’s going to give us the opportunity, and we have to make the plays.”

Make plays they did. The Raiders went 75 yards on seven plays to score the game-deciding touchdown in a 31-24 victory over the Detroit Lions here at Oakland Coliseum.

Richard was involved in four of them, including to huge pass plays working down the field. Carr cashed in with a scramble-drill touchdown to Hunter Renfrow that Jon Gruden considers the best play the quarterback has made the past two seasons.

Carr’s 18th career game-winner in the fourth quarter was expertly run from play calling to execution, orchestrated by a maestro at the peak of his powers. Carr was in complete command, and the Raiders offense fed off that poise under pressure.

“There’s never a letdown with this group,” Carr said. “I’ve been on teams where an opponent scores and ties it, they’re disappointed. Not here. We have a lot of veterans on this team, especially up front, who have been in this situation. We can give young guys confidence and belief that, if they just do their job, we’ll win the game. We try to keep it mellow even though the stakes are really high.”

The Raiders were certainly excited after the drive’s first play, a perfectly arched throw to Richard caught over his shoulder for a 31-yard gain.

“I just kept working to get on top and I trusted DC that it was going to be there,” Richard said. “Once I won, I popped and it was like, ‘one Mississippi, two’ and, bam, it was right there.”

The Raiders had practiced that play a few times and it didn’t go to Richard. That was the right play based upon the coverage, and Carr’s experience with the running back created trust required to throw that ball.

Richard ran twice for a combined 12 yards and was targeted again as a receiver in a huge spot.

“It was a shallow cross,” Richard said. “I had a cornerback on me and I just had to run away from him. He was moving, too, but I got away from him enough to get down the field.”

[RELATED: Grading Raiders' win over Lions]

Richard went 23 yards on a play that put the Raiders inside the Lions’ 10-yard line. Carr hit Renfrow two plays later rolling to his left, buying time until the rookie receiver came free. He had zero problem going to the fifth-round rookie in a pivotal moment.

“I had trust in Hunter from the moment I met him,” Carr said. “He loves football. You can see it in his eyes. His love for team. He does not care if he catches that ball, I promise you that. The guy just wants to win. When guys are that selfless, it feels great when they come back and make a huge play.”

NFL rumors: Raiders rookie Josh Jacobs a game-time decision vs. Titans

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AP

NFL rumors: Raiders rookie Josh Jacobs a game-time decision vs. Titans

Josh Jacobs' pain reportedly might be too much to play through Sunday. 

The Raiders running back posted on Snapchat last week that he fractured his shoulder, and NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Sunday, citing a source, that the rookie out of Alabama is "a true game-time decision" as a result of the injury. 

Jacobs, 21, has run for 1,061 yards on 218 attempts in his record-setting rookie season, surpassing Marcus Allen's first-year rushing mark in Week 9 and crossing the 1,000-yard plateau in last week's blowout loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. 

[RELATED: Why Waller must shine for Raiders in Week 14 vs. Titans]

The Raiders face a must-win situation Sunday at home against the Tennessee Titans, with Oakland's playoff hopes on life support after back-to-back losses to the New York Jets and the rival Chiefs. Jacobs has been a focal point of the Raiders' offense in his first NFL season, ranking ninth in the league with 236 total touches. 

If Jacobs doesn't play Sunday, he won't be the only big absence in the running game. Starting right tackle Trent Brown will not play at the Coliseum, either.

Raiders-Titans odds, predictions: Betting lines, picks for NFL Week 14 game

Raiders-Titans odds, predictions: Betting lines, picks for NFL Week 14 game

The Raiders badly need a win Sunday at home against the Titans.

But Vegas and several NFL experts aren't on Oakland's side.

Despite the game being played at the Coliseum, the Raiders are underdogs according to most oddsmakers.

With a win over the Titans, the Raiders will keep their slim playoff hopes alive. A loss gives Jon Gruden's team almost no chance of reaching the postseason.

[RELATED: Five Raiders to watch vs. Titans]

Line

Caesars: Titans -3 (-105)
Consensus: Titans -3 (-106)
Westgate: Titans -2.5 (-120)
Wynn: Titans -2.5 (-120)

Predictions

Paul Gutierrez, ESPN.com: Raiders 23, Titans 21
Turron Davenport, ESPN.com: Titans 24, Raiders 17
Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com: Titans 27, Raiders 13
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk: Raiders 23, Titans 20
Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk: Titans 27, Raiders 17