Photo credit: @offclockpodcast
By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
OAKLAND, Calif. — Derek Carr throws a 6-yard touchdown to tight end Derek Carrier with 21 seconds left in the fourth quarter before Chris Boswell slipped on the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum turf as he attempted a 40-yard game-tying field goal as the Oakland Raiders defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers, 24-21 on Sunday afternoon.
Carr threw two touchdowns in the final period of the game, leading to his 16th career fourth-quarter comeback. In the contest, Carr completed 25-of-34 passes for 322 yards and no interceptions for the Raiders (3-10). Carr found tight end Lee Smith for a 3-yard touchdown that gave Oakland a 17-14 lead with 5:20 left in the game.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Carr has not thrown an interception in his last 261 passing attempts this season, which is second-most behind Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ (359). Rodgers, a future Hall of Famer, broke Tom Brady’s (who will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer for sure once he’s done playing) record of 358-straight passes without an interception through the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
After suffering a rib injury in the first half, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger played just one series in the second half, leading the Steelers to the go-ahead touchdown, a 1-yard score by wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, that gave the Steelers a 21-17 lead with 2:55 left in the game.
Roethlisberger passed for 282 yards and two touchdowns on 25-of-29 passes, while backup quarterback Joshua Dobbs struggled, completing 4-of-9 passes for 24 yards and one interception.
With fellow wide receiver Antonio Brown having a quiet day with just five catches for 35 yards, Smith-Schuster finished with eight catches for 130 yards and two touchdowns. Smith-Schuster scored his first touchdown of the game in the second quarter (another 1-yard score) from Roethlisberger that gave the Steelers their first lead of the the game, 14-10 with 10 seconds remaining before halftime.
The play was initially ruled incomplete on the field, but was overturned by the replay booth after video showed Smith-Schuster had both feet down in bounds. At times, the crowd that made up the 53,960 in attendance at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum looked and sounded like Heinz Field with the strong presence of Steelers fans in attendance.
But the real story was how cool Carr was on the Raiders’ final drive of the game.
On the drive that started on their own 25-yard line, Carr led Oakland on an 8-play, 75-yard drive in 2:34 for the go-ahead score to Carrier.
Carr completed 4-of-6 passes for 68 yards (39 of those yards coming on a completion to wide receiver Seth Roberts) down the middle of the field into Pittsburgh’s territory.
Tight end Jared Cook finished with seven catches for 116 yards (all game-highs) for Oakland, giving him his back-to-back 100-yard receiving games.