Derek Carr was in form on Sunday and he delivered — then Matt McCrane’s kick allowed for a sigh of relief.
The Raiders rallied from an eight-point deficit with 30 seconds remaining to force overtime and McCrane kicked a 29-yard field goal in the waning minutes of the extra period to give Oakland a 45-42 victory over the Cleveland Browns at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on Sunday.
It was the Raiders’ first win of the season and first under new coach Jon Gruden.
“I just hugged everybody,” Carr said. “I sat in my locker — I tell you guys all the time, I sit in my locker and I like to watch our team celebrate. The smile on our new kicker’s face. Imagine how his heart felt — imagine how he felt before the last kick. He felt pretty bad.”
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McCrane, who signed with the team earlier this week after an injury to Mike Nugent, missed two field goals before redeeming himself with the winning field goal.
He credited Carr for that opportunity.
“I went up to him after the game and told him I appreciate everything that he did,” he said. “The way he was talking with (Gruden). I got to do my job and put the ball through the uprights. To come out with the win is an exciting feeling.”
Carr completed 35 of 58 for 437 yards and four touchdowns against two interceptions. His last touchdown came at a crucial time when he connected on a 7-yard pass to Jared Cook. The Raiders went for two and Carr connected with Jordy Nelson on a fade pass in the front corner of the end zone.
“I had a one-on-one matchup with just a face backside,” Nelson said. “Obviously, Derek makes that read and gave me a ball that I could catch.”
Raiders defensive end Bruce Irvin said he was aware of the criticism Carr has faced in recent weeks, but he said he knows what his quarterback is capable of.
“It’s unfortunate the criticism he faces,” Irvin said. “That’s with any quarterback. But the best thing about DC, he doesn’t let it bother him. He comes to work early every week and he continues to pound away until he gets the results he wants to get.”
The Raiders trailed twice in the game and also faced the prospects of starting 0-4, but after the rally they’re 1-3 and next face the Los Angeles Chargers next Sunday.
Carr is just happy to get the Raiders their first win of the season.
“I am not a partier,” he said. “I like to celebrate with my wife and family — that’s how I like to celebrate. I’m not going to be out there on the streets in Oakland or Jack London Square. I think one day when we win the Super Bowl, that’s when we’ll have a party and they might see me dance.
“I still have my babies to go kiss on and now we have No. 3 on the way. My wife’s going to kill me for telling you.”
▪ The Raiders had two 100-yard receivers, one 100-yard rusher and one 400-yard passer for the first time in franchise history since the 1970 AFL merger.
▪ Carr surpassed the 400-yard mark for the third time in his career and recorded his 14th career fourth quarter/overtime game-winning drive.
▪ Marshawn Lynch recorded his 34th career 100-yard rushing game en route to the most rushing yards he has totaled (130 yards) in a single contest since Nov. 9, 2014.