It was the Best of times, it was the Worst of times in Oakland as the Raiders temporarily lost quarterback Derek Carr, then allowed the Carolina Panthers to score 18 unanswered points to take the lead 25-24. The injury was a freak pinky finger dislocation that would result in a fumbled turnover and Carr running off the field to be attended to.
Up to this point the game was all Raiders as they'd built a 24-7 lead and were cruising toward a ninth victory. But when Carr went out the Panthers sniffed blood in the water and began scoring and scoring and scoring. Raiders backup quarterback Matt McGloin was in for a three and out series before Carr returned to the field with a glove on the injured pinky hand. It took him a bit to get in the gloved groove as the Panthers and Cam Newton were chocking up points.
Then in the fourth quarter with the Raiders trailing 32-24, Carr began connecting with receivers as he led the Raiders to a touchdown, a two-point conversion and a Janikowski field goal. It was as if the gloved one was being anointed an mvp caliber quarterback right before the eyes of the Coliseum home crowd. The way Carr uplifted the team and restored the confidence that had earlier led to a dominant performance was something else. Even the defense felt the infusion of energy and came storming back to put Cam down in the Panthers final drive, securing the victory.
Raider Nation has seen just about everything from their team this season. The ways the Raiders have won these nine games borders on miraculous and/or immaculate. Today's game added a new twist to the ways the Raiders are winning; toughing out injuries and leading the team back from the edge of defeat. Raider Nation saw it, the NFL saw it and fans across the nation saw it. QB Derek Carr is in the conversation of best quarterbacks in the league.
And lest we forget, the amazing Khalil Mack added some mvp points to his resume today with a freak interception for a touchdown and a game sealing sack on Cam Newton.
Mack is worthy of all the talk his play has generated.
The Oakland Raiders are 9-2!