Individual accomplishments don’t mean much to Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, he said – not a weekly NFL honor nor even being mentioned as an MVP candidate.
The former Fresno State star was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week on Wednesday, the league’s reward after he set a franchise record with 513 passing yards while throwing for four touchdowns, including the winner in overtime of a 30-24 victory Sunday over Tampa Bay.
Carr won the award for the first time in his three-year career, and he’s the first Raiders quarterback to be honored since Brad Gradkowski in 2009.
Can you say MVP? Carr is, after all, third in the NFL in touchdown passes with 17 against just three interceptions. Just as attractive to MVP voters, his Raiders are 6-2 and headed for a showdown with Denver for the AFC West lead Sunday night at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
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“I would rather not hear anything,” Carr said. “I’d rather go about my business, hang out with family, to be honest. I’m very honored and thankful, don’t get me wrong, but at this point of the year that (speculation is) not for me.”
Carr and the Raiders improved 5-0 on the road. He has thrown 11 of his touchdowns passes away from the Coliseum while posting a 102.6 rating.
“We just want Derek to go out and be himself, play good football for us and help our team win,” coach Jack Del Rio said. “Very happy with the way he’s shown the ability to bring us back. Crunch time, clutch time, you’ve got to have it. He’s been money and that’s been big for us.”
It was the fifth time in Carr’s career that he threw at least four touchdowns in a game, tying Rich Gannon for third in franchise history. Carr completed 40 of 59 attempts without an interception. He has a touchdown in 14 straight games – dating to Week 12 last season against Tennessee – for the third longest active streak among NFL quarterbacks.
Among his other superlative stats:
▪ Carr is the third player in NFL history to throw for 500 yards and four touchdowns in a game without an interception, joining Ben Roethlisberger (2014) and Hall of Famer Y.A. Tittle (1962).
▪ For the month of October, Carr passed for 1,454 yards and 12 touchdowns.
▪ Carr’s seven game-winning drives in the fourth quarter and overtime since 2015 are tied for the NFL lead.
“I just want to get better,” said Carr, fifth in the league in passing yards with 2,321. “I didn’t want to be the same. That’s not just in football but in life. I want to get better at everything I do. To see the hard work is paying off … spending a lot of hours in the offseason. It’s cool to see it paying off, but there is still so much in my mind and my heart that I want to get better at. I’m not going to stop.”
His focus now turns to the defending Super Bowl champion Broncos, also 6-2 after beating San Diego. Kickoff is 5:30 p.m. Sunday.
“I treat every game the same. I really do,” Carr said. “By treating every game the same, that means I treat them all with the utmost respect. I treat each player, each scheme, defensive coordinator the same exact way because they’re professionals and best at what they do in the world.”
Et cetera – Green Bay receiver Davante Adams (Fresno State) had 12 receptions for 74 yards in a 33-32 loss to Atlanta. Adams, targeted 14 times, has 25 receptions in the past two games.
▪ Minnesota middle linebacker Eric Kendricks (Hoover High) finished with a game-high nine tackles in a 20-10 loss to Chicago.
▪ Kansas City cornerback Steven Nelson (College of the Sequoias) had two tackles and two pass deflections in a 30-14 victory over Indianapolis. Colts linebacker Chris Carter (Fresno State) did not record a stat.
▪ Broncos tight end Virgil Green (Tulare) had four receptions for 55 yards in the 27-19 win over San Diego.
▪ Philadelphia running back Ryan Mathews (Fresno State) had a 1-yard touchdown run in a 29-23 loss to Dallas. Eagles linebacker Mychal Kendricks (Hoover) had three tackles.
▪ Wide receiver Isaiah Burse (Fresno State) was re-signed to San Diego’s practice squad. He had been promoted to the active roster for the game against Denver but released Monday to clear a spot for another player.