NFL

'He stepped up and made incredible plays' – Carr, Jackson earn praise as Raiders edge Cowboys in OT

By Sports Desk November 26, 2021

Derek Carr made an aggressive approach count as he elected to "rip 'em" and see where it got the Las Vegas Raiders against the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving.

After the Raiders snatched a 36-33 overtime win, Carr could reflect on a policy skilfully enacted, and interim head coach Rich Bisaccia was suitably impressed.

Carr ended the game with 24-of-39 passing for 373 yards and a touchdown – the most yards by a Raiders quarterback on Thanksgiving in team history.

It gave him a passer rating of 101.8 after three consecutive games down in double digits, each of which ended in defeat.

Daniel Carlson nailed a field goal to win the game before munching on a turkey leg to mark the holiday. Victory improved the Raiders to 6-5 and checked the Cowboys at 7-4.

Carr picked out DeSean Jackson early for a 56-yard touchdown; Jackson's 34th career touchdown of 50-plus yards puts him only two adrift of all-time NFL leader Jerry Rice.

Speaking after the game, Carr said he heeded the advice of former Raiders coach Jon Gruden not to shy away from the bold option.

"It leads sometimes to not completing as many balls on a percentage chart, but to me, Gruden used to tell me, 'Don't ever take your arm out of a game'," Carr said.

"So, when we call these things, let's rip 'em."

Gruden resigned from his Raiders top job in October amid reports he had sent emails containing offensive language.

Carr savoured the narrow victory, saying: "Our back was against the wall. There's no doubt about that. And in the way that we fought today and for as long as it took to win... we had to do that today, and I'm very proud of our team."

Bisaccia said 30-year-old Carr had been "off sync a little bit" in recent games. "Today he looked like Derek Carr. It's fun to watch him play," the interim coach added.

Bisaccia also saluted 34-year-old Jackson, an acquisition in early November who is showing the Raiders what he still has left in the tank.

"I thought he stepped up in there today and made really incredible plays," Bisaccia said. "You can see DeSean hopefully getting more and more comfortable with what we're asking him to do. One thing he can still do is run. It was fun to watch him. It was good for him, and it was good for us."

It fell to Carlson to settle the game and settle a Raiders team who were 3-0 early in the season before losing their way.

A fourth successive loss would have hurt, but now Las Vegas can look forward with greater optimism. They are next in action against the Washington Football Team on December 5.

Carlson said: "It's tough when things don't go your way for a few weeks."

Quoted on the Raiders website, he added: "On a short week to be able to get a win like that, that helps us going forward. I think that just speaks to the character of this team and our will to win."

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