OAKLAND -- Raiders quarterback Derek Carr hung in the pocket one second after another, surveying and surveying and surveying some more, waiting in vain for someone to come free. He moved slightly to his left and then rolled back right, with Derek Carrier and Zay Jones running parallel with him Sunday afternoon at the Oakland Coliseum.
Neither guy was open, so Carr eventually elected to throw it away.
That’s when the boos came. It was to be expected, considering the concession came on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard-line with just under four minutes left in the fourth quarter and the Raiders trailing 42-21 to the Titans. That wasn’t a major moment, as the visiting Tennessee Titans already had the game in hand and won by that same score. That play’s outcome wouldn’t have mattered much either way.
It was, however, essentially still a tap out. Carr could've given Jones or Carrier a chance to make a play but didn't. At minimum, the optics weren't great. Ultimately, however, head coach Jon Gruden wasn’t upset over that play’s result.
“I think he kept the play alive for like 12 seconds. It wasn’t like he just aborted the ball,” Gruden said. “He exhausted that play for what it was. I’m not going to stand here and say that was a turning point in the game.”
Carr didn’t have anybody open and bought time, but didn’t try to force it anywhere when nobody was open and he ran out of real estate heading toward the sideline.
“They put us into a scramble drill,” Carr said. “I tried to extend the play in the pocket, like we’ve been working on. I tried to find somebody in the pocket and then as soon as they got close I tried to extend it outside the pocket. I promise you I wrung out the whole [towel] on that one.
“There were seven defensive backs looking at me, waiting for the ball. It is what it is.”