LAS VEGAS — Derek Carr, who rocked back and forth on the podium with tears in his eyes and a faltering voice, apologized for being “emotional” after the Las Vegas Raiders’ 25-20 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday was Allegiant Stadium.
The Colts came in with an interim coach who had never coached above the high school level in Jeff Saturday, an offensive coordinator who had never played Frazier before at Parks, and a veteran quarterback who started the season in Matt Ryan on the bank had been set.
It took Carr several pauses to gather himself as the Raiders quarterback addressed what was happening over the course of the loss that lowered Las Vegas’ record to 2-7 in a season that ended a year after making the playoffs started so promisingly for the second time since 2002.
“I love Silver and Black and I’ll give my all every time I go out there,” Carr said. “And I can’t speak for everyone, every man, what’s on her mind, but I can tell you what’s on my mind and I’ll give my all every time.”
Carr paused for 12 seconds before being asked if there had been a “breakup” between himself and first-year coach and offensive playcaller Josh McDaniels.
“I don’t think so,” Carr said tearfully. “I love Josh. I love our trainers. They had nothing but success. Much more success than I’ve ever had. And I’m sorry …”
A swallowed Carr paused again for eight seconds.
“Sorry to be emotional,” he continued. “I’m just mad at some of the things, you know, that a lot of us try and do just to practice. What we put our bodies through just to sleep at night.”
Carr paused again for nine seconds.
“And that this is the result of all that effort makes me angry,” he said. “Boys a lot of guys. It’s hard to know what some guys are doing…just to practice. What they put in their bodies just to sleep at night. Just so we can be there for each other. And I wish everyone in this room felt the same way about this place. And as a manager, if I’m honest, it pisses me off.”
It was the sixth one-point loss of the season for the Raiders, tied with the third-most loss without a win in one-point games in a season since 2000 with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2017, behind the Carolina Panthers in 2001 (0-9) and 2019 Bengals (0-8) according to ESPN Stats & Information Research.
This comes after the Raiders went 7-2 in one-score games and won four straight games last season to finish 10-7 and head into the postseason under caretaker coach Rich Bisaccia and general manager Mike Mayock push. Raiders owner Mark Davis opted to replace them with McDaniels and Dave Ziegler from the New England Patriots, saying the steps were taken to take the Raiders “to the next level.”
Instead, and after landing an All-Pro receiver in Carr’s college teammate Davante Adams, the Raiders have the second-worst record in the NFL, Carr sometimes looks lost on McDaniels’ offense, and the post-game locker room was filled with frustration and apparent Disagreements, with several players cursing loudly and one apologizing to the other.
Carr said the team captains spoke to the dressing room after the game.
“No magic message,” said Adams, who had nine catches for 126 yards with a 48-yard catch-and-run TD. “We will keep what has been said internally. Wasn’t crazy, we just had a talk as a team.”
When asked if players aren’t “buying” into McDaniels’ system, Adams shrugged.
“I don’t think we’re going to say, ‘F what he’s talking about,’ or ‘I’m going against the current,'” Adams said. “It’s just a matter of execution when the time comes.”
“It’s hard to know what some people are doing … just to practice. What they put in their bodies just to sleep at night. Just so we can be there for each other. And I wish everyone in this room could feel that. It’s the same with this place. And as a manager, if I’m honest, it pisses me off.”
Raiders QB Derek Carr
Carr, who went 0-to-5 in the first quarter, the first time a quarterback had thrown at least five passes in an unfinished quarter this season, then went 11-to-11 in the second quarter. He finished 24 of 38 for 248 yards and two TDs, but his last shot, a fade to the left in the end zone for Adams in fourth and 7 from the Colts’ 16-yard line with 52 seconds to play, was wasted Cornerback Stephen Gilmore broken up.
The ninth-year veteran said he wasn’t “perfect” after the game.
“I’ll never be perfect,” Carr said. “But the love I have for this place and the effort I will put into it will be second to none every time.
“The emotion of just nine years of stuff hit me today because I really love this place. It won’t change anything. I’m going to come here and fight and compete next week and that’s what I’m going to do.”
Despite this, he was heavily booed by fans when his picture was shown after the game as he left the field.
“I never take it personally,” he said. “I’m just the one who’s been here the longest.
“I’m mad about it too, so don’t worry.”
And while speculation about McDaniels’ job security is rampant, the coach said: “It starts with me.
“So, you know, we’ve got to come up with something else to try and get out of some of those close ends and tight games and/or end up making enough games to win. That’s how it always starts with us starts with me, so I’ll do whatever I can to find out what we can do to improve the results.”