It’s long overdue, but Derek Carr will finally play in his first-ever playoff game on Sunday. It didn’t look like the Las Vegas Raiders would buck the trend this season, as they went 6-7 before going on a season-ending four-game winning streak. After the team defeated the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday to secure their playoff berth, Carr mentioned that he received a message from Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers before the game.
He didn’t reveal exactly what the reigning MVP had to say, but Rodgers did get a chance to open up about their relationship.
“I’m happy for Derek,” Rodgers continued The Pat McAfee Show. “I’ve known him for a long time and I enjoy staying in touch with him. I enjoyed our conversations. I think he’s a really respectful guy. He’s been through an insane amount of adversity this season with what happened with Jon [Gruden] and all moving parts. I just gave him a little encouragement before the game just because I like him as a person and how he does his business.”
Carr has said in the past that he talks to Rodgers more than any other quarterback in the NFL. They never played together and went to different colleges, but they were brought together by Packers wide receiver Davante Adams, who went to Fresno State with Carr.
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Carr is one of only two Raiders remaining on the roster since the 2016 playoff run. Unfortunately, he was unable to play this season due to injury. Running back Jalen Richard is the only other player to have been on that roster, and he made it known how happy he is that Carr is finally getting a playoff shot.
“Derek is a lot better than he was in 2016 when he was in the MVP talks,” Richard said Tuesday. “Every year he’s gotten better, smarter, stronger – he loves flexing his arms and stuff – and he’s more connected to the team, everything.
“I really hurt him in 2016 when he couldn’t finish that stellar season the way he wanted. Now he’s beaming. Man I’m so happy for him. I can’t wait to see him on Saturday.”
Carr holds all the major passing records for the Raiders, but what defined the franchise’s best quarterbacks were wins. Ken Stabler, Jim Plunkett, Daryle Lamonica and Rich Gannon all played in Super Bowls. The biggest blow to Carr is that he hasn’t won enough. The lack of wins isn’t all his fault, but now he can finally say he was in the playoffs.
“Obviously, I’ve dreamed of this since I got drafted,” Carr said Tuesday. “That’s all I want to do is get into the playoffs and try to win a championship. And the fact that we’re in the tournament is really cool.
“Like I said, I’m super grateful. I’ve worked my tail off. I’ve prayed that one day I could experience this and I will. It’s cool. But at the same time, my goal wasn’t just to make the playoffs… you always have bigger goals and bigger dreams and you’re always trying to achieve more.”
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