When the Las Vegas Raiders hosted the Cincinnati Bengals in what became a pivotal late November battle between third-place teams, Derek Carr's offense was ineffective. The veteran quarterback managed to throw for just 215 yards with one touchdown and pick, and the Raiders suffered an ugly blowout loss.
Carr will soon get another crack at the Bengals, this time in a do-or-die, AFC wild-card matchup on Saturday afternoon at Paul Brown Stadium. It'll be the first-career playoff game for the 30-year-old, who missed out on Las Vegas' appearance in 2016 after breaking his leg that December. A new challenge.
"Derek Carr has finally gotten the respect that he deserves. Is he the world's greatest quarterback? No. But did he show stones in that game against the Chargers last Sunday," Maggie Gray said during the Maggie and Perloff show on Friday. "I think there's a lot of people rooting to see what he can do in the playoffs... Beyond the game, Carr's going into the last year of his deal. If he shows something in the playoffs, he could be playing for true QB money..."
Carr, who turns 31 in March, helped the Raiders clinch an AFC wild-card berth last Sunday, in an overtime thriller against the Los Angeles Chargers. Although his regular season totals aren't eye-popping, he threw for a career-high 4,804 yards with 23 scores and 14 picks in 17 games. According to Spotrac, Carr will earn $19 million next season before entering free agency in 2023.
Las Vegas (10-7) and Cincinnati (10-7) are scheduled to kick off at 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday. According to FiveThirtyEight's projections, the Raiders have just a 26-percent chance to advance to the divisional round and a 1-percent chance to reach Super Bowl 56. In spite of distractions and adversity off the field this season, the team went 8-2 in games decided by single digits.
Maggie and Perloff's complete thoughts on the Raiders can be accessed in the audio player above.