The Raiders rested 18 players in total, including starting quarterback Matt Schaub who is still battling elbow soreness. The move gave rookie quarterback Derek Carr his first NFL start, who promptly stole the show with an outstanding performance.
Carr entered the game in the game’s second drive after a quick Seattle Seahawks touchdown, giving them a 7-0 deficit.
The former Fresno St. quarterback looked undaunted against Pete Carroll and his defense which featured starters Richard Sherman and company. Without wide receivers Rod Streater and James Jones, Carr drove the offense down 68 yards on 12 plays that ended with a five-yard touchdown run by Latavius Murray. Carr made a crucial throw on third down when he found Denarius Moore on the right side for a first down, gaining 11.
But that was just the start to Carr’s night.
Carr was awarded a short field after a fumble recovery on the ensuing kickoff. It took just one play to find an open Moore streaking down the right sideline for the 36-yard touchdown connection on a perfectly-thrown ball. The score gave the Raiders the early 14-7 lead.
Carr’s second touchdown pass of the night came with a little bit of luck as he threw a laser down the middle of the field to have it tipped by the defender before tight end Mychal Rivera hauled in the tough catch in the end zone. This drive came on a short field again as rookie TJ Carrie set up the offense with 44-yard punt return.
The young quarterback’s fourth and final touchdown drive of the night would come early in the second quarter with an eight-play, 61-yard drive. Carr faced a third and six from the 11 yard line when he used a beautifully-thrown back shoulder pass to find Moore in the end zone for the wide receiver’s second touchdown of the game.
Carr finished the game 11 for 13 for 143 yards and three touchdowns, including going a perfect four for four to amass 63 yards and one touchdown on third down. His final passer rating was 152.1, with a perfect game being 158.3.
It will be interesting to see how Dennis Allen and the Raiders coaching staff handles this seemingly growing quarterback controversy just a little over a week away from taking on the New York Jets in the regular season opener.