With the Oakland Raiders staring at a fourth-and-four with just under two minutes to go in overtime, there was never really a question if head coach Jack Del Rio would leave his offense on the field.
As Del Rio has so often done during the course of the season, he gave Derek Carr the chance to make the big play in the big moment. And as has so often has been the case, the quarterback delivered.
Carr hit Seth Roberts for a 41-yard touchdown pass to cap off his 513-yard day — a franchise record — and hand the Raiders a 30-24 overtime win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday afternoon at Raymond James Stadium.
“It’s always great when you trust and that trust is rewarded,” Del Rio told reporters during his postgame press conference. “That builds confidence and we’ll continue to grow as a football team. Our quarterback made a ton of plays today. He really did.”
With the win, the Raiders improve to 6-2 on the season and boost their road record to 5-0 for the first time since 1977.
While Carr wrote his name into the team’s record book, the Raiders also claimed an infamous spot in NFL lore. Oakland handed the Bucs 200 yards on 23 penalties, which is the highest total in league history.
“We recognize we have things we’ve got to be better at,” Del Rio said. “So, again, it makes it easier to get their attention because it’s obvious. That’s easy to see. You just can’t do that. So, obviously, we’ll have to clean that up.”
No drive better epitomized that afternoon-long struggle than the Bucs’ 82-yard scoring drive late in the fourth quarter. The drive, which briefly gave the hosts a 24-17 advantage, featured 38 yards of offense and 44 yards on penalties.
Following that disastrous sequence, Carr sent the game to overtime by orchestrating a nine-play 75-yard scoring drive, which ended with a seven-yard touchdown pass to Mychal Rivera.
Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper were Carr’s prefered targets, as the tandem combined for 281 yards, but the quarterback had plenty of chances to spread out the catches. On his way to going 40-for-59 and throwing four touchdowns, Carr connected with 10 different receivers.
Left tackle Donald Penn was one of the 10 Raiders on that list. Penn’s lone reception was a one-yard touchdown catch early in the third quarter.
After hauling in his touchdown — the fourth of his career — Penn stood in the corner of the endzone with his arms folded across his chest, posing for the crowd at his old home.
“I’m not even going to get into that,” Penn said. “But I was super hyped.”
Prior to joining the Raiders for the 2014 season, Penn had spent eight years with the Bucs before the NFC South team cut him in the spring of 2013.
“I’m going to be modest right now,” Penn added. “But I was really excited. I was really excited. I’m not going to sit here and lie to you.”
Amari CooperDerek CarrDonald PennMichael CrabtreeNFLOakland Raiders