MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Derek Carr had the Raiders charging downfield late in the fourth quarter Sunday, seemingly primed to score a go-ahead touchdown and buck an early season trend of struggling in the fourth quarter.
They traveled 77 yards with ease before facing a first down at the Miami 13-yard line. Carr found a favorable matchup he wanted to exploit, with Martavis Bryant locked in single coverage against Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard.
Carr lofted a ball skyward, though it was a bit short. Howard blocked Bryant out toward the baseline, leaped up and snagged it for an interception.
The Dolphins maintained the lead and then expanded it two plays later on a shovel pass that Albert Wilson took 74 yards to the house. Game, Dolphins.
Carr's interception started the downhill slide that sent the Raiders to 0-3 following a loss to the Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium.
“He just saw man-to-man coverage,” Raiders coach Jon Gruden said of Carr's throw. “He decided to take a shot, and unfortunately it didn't work out.”
It’s a shot Carr said he would continue to take, even after the unwelome result.
"If we have a one-on-one, we can go to certain looks [and] those kind of things,” Carr said. “I just saw one-on-one with Martavis [Bryant]. Obviously he was hot and he was doing some good things. I just gave him a chance, just like I have a hundred other times in my life. They ended up making a good play.
“It sucks, right? The outcome sucks, but, I think, going back through in my head, getting one-on-one with that guy, I'd probably have to do it again.”
It’s a play that will be second-guessed, like any mistake made by a true franchise quarterback. Carr obviously wishes for a better result there, maybe a bit better throw that only Bryant could've reached.
Carr gave Amari Cooper a chance to make a play down the field late in the first quarter. He heaved it high and deep, but Cooper saw the ball take flight, and stopped running his route while in heavy coverage.
“I had [Cameron Wake] coming up the field, so I stopped, got back inside, and Coop had him beat,” Carr said. “I let it go, but he never saw me. He never saw the ball, so he stopped. Again, that's something, like, obviously you don't want it to happen because we could’ve had a big touchdown [scored]; but he didn't see me. He didn't see the ball thrown.
“I can't get mad at him for that. It's not like he just ran the wrong route or something or blatantly did it. I promise you, he wishes he had that one back. We had the look, we had a good look for the play, so I wish we would have hit that one. That would have been fun.”
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