Raiders QB Derek Carr regrets game-changing, one-handed TD attempt
GREEN BAY - The end result Sunday afternoon at Lambeau Field was an 18-point margin of victory for the Green Bay Packers over the Oakland Raiders, and it didn’t feel that close with the Raiders scoring their final points in a 42-24 loss with just under two minutes to go in the game.
But that wasn’t the case through the opening 28 minutes, as both teams slogged their way through long, physical scoring drives with the Packers taking a 14-10 lead with 3 minutes, 27 seconds to go in the first half. Oakland immediately responded with a drive from their own 25 down to the Packers’ 2-yard line, where the game changed in an instant.
On second-and-goal from the two, Oakland quarterback Derek Carr bootlegged to his right. As he stretched the play toward the Packers sideline he elected not to throw the ball away and instead tried to beat Packers linebacker Blake Martinez to the edge.
“That was one of those plays that I wanted to make for the team,” Martinez said.
Carr switched the ball to his left hand and dove, extending his left arm for the pylon and the lead. But Martinez’s hard shove to the back helped the ball squirt out of Carr’s hand.
“I was like, ‘That’s out.” And they were like ‘Blake hold on! hold on!’” Martinez said.
Initially, Carr was ruled out of bounds, and the Raiders were to retain possession at the 1.
“I thought it was (out of the end zone) when I saw it live but I wasn’t 100%,” Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said. “That’s … It was a bang-bang type deal right there close to the end zone. Yeah, you talk about a pivotal point in the game.”
With the play happening under two minutes, it was automatically reviewed. It became clear Carr did indeed lose the ball before he went out of bounds and lost the ball through the end zone.
The Packers were given the ball back at their own 20 with 1:49 to go. Seven plays and one Raiders penalty later, Aaron Rodgers hit Jake Kumerow for a 37-yard touchdown. Suddenly, a tough one-possession slugfest turned into a 21-10 Packers lead. They then added another score to start the second half at 28-10, and the rout was on.
“Everyone was patting me on the side of the head on the sideline like, ‘you’re just trying to make a play,’ and I understand,” Carr said. “Because the ending of it is a fumble, it’s their ball, like that sucks. But in that moment, it’s so hard because you’re like right there, and you’re playing a tough team where you’re going to need all of the points you can get. It’s so hard not to try. That’s everything I’ve ever been about in my entire life, is to try. I’ve got to go with two hands, right? Trying to extend with one hand isn’t smart. That’s stupid. But at the end of the day, it’s really hard to, in that situation, while you’re running, like I’m not thinking about anything else but, ‘oh, man, I could get in.’ But it sucks, man. It’s my fault. I let my team down on that.”
Ingold’s bittersweet homecoming
Oakland fullback Alec Ingold was the one Raiders player warmly welcomed Sunday, as the Green Bay native and Bay Port High School alumnus played at Lambeau Field for the first time as a professional. The University of Wisconsin alumnus went undrafted but made the Raiders' roster out of training camp. The team promoted his return on their social media account when it arrived in Wisconsin.
“It is pretty special,” Ingold said. “The one thing about coming back home is that I hope to inspire some kids that are going through the same thing that I was going through. Not a lot of people make it from Green Bay, so if there are some kids that push a little bit harder and follow their dreams a little bit more, then that is what it is all about.”
Unfortunately for Ingold, not only did the Raiders lose but he couldn’t help get teammate Josh Jacobs into the end zone on several key plays deep in Packers territory. That included a stand from the Packers’ 7-yard line when the Raiders trailed 35-17 and were trying to get back into the game. Jacobs had rushes for 4 and 1 yards before a fourth-and-1 play when Packers linebacker B.J. Goodson stuffed Jacobs over the top of the line of scrimmage.
“They definitely had our number today,” Ingold said of that stop. “They had a good game plan going against us. We ran plays that we had been successful with before and we weren’t successful today. There is a lot to get better from. Hats off to them.”
Run defense tested
Nose tackle Kenny Clark has been dealing with an injured left calf since getting hit from the side against the Dallas Cowboys three weeks ago.
Against the Raiders, he got hit in the same exact way and had to leave the game.
Clark eventually returned and finished with five tackles. The way the defense was playing it had no room for error and so his return was critical.
"Early on they got a couple of big runs on us,” Clark said. “In the second half, we bottled (Raiders running back Josh Jacobs) up. But they still had a lot of yardage.”
Clark said holding the Raiders to 17 points until garbage time was the bottom line in the defense’s performance. But he acknowledged that big plays have been the Achilles’ heel and are worrisome.
"Those explosive plays are hurting us,” he said. “We have to get those under control. I know I had a missed tackle on one. We just have to do a better job preventing them.”
The Packers have allowed 11 plays of 40 or more yards this season, which was the most in the NFL heading into Sunday night’s game. They have allowed nine passes of 40 or more yards, including a 48-yarder by tight end Darren Waller, and two runs of 40 or more yards, including a 42-yarder by Jacobs.
The Packers’ return game remains a non-factor with rookie Darrius Shepherd averaging 15 yards on four kickoff returns and fielding two fair catches on punts, including one he could have easily returned.
LaFleur stood behind Shepherd this week after the rookie fumbled a punt, but he may want to review that heading into Kansas City.
In the meantime, the player the Packers gave up on and traded to the Raiders for a sixth-round pick had a terrific day returning punts and kicks.
Trevor Davis returned two punts for 47 yards and two kickoffs for 49 yards.
The punt returns reduced punter JK Scott’s net average to 39.7 despite averaging 55.3 gross.