KANSAS CITY, Mo — Derek Carr wanted to silence once and for all the notion he couldn’t play well in cold weather or at Arrowhead Stadium.
That did not happen in a 40-9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, as all of the quarterback’s well-chronicled demons remained alive and well.
Carr threw two interceptions, including a critical one in the second quarter that Juan Thornhill returned 46 yards for a touchdown to put the Raiders in a 21-0 hole. Although he rallied with a late-game drive to make his overall numbers somewhat respectable — completing 20 of 30 passes for 222 yards and one touchdown with a passer rating of 71.1 — Carr was mostly ineffective through the balance of the game.
When the Raiders desperately needed him with the game still within reach, he did not perform.
“Oh man, very frustrating,” Carr said. “Can’t turn the ball … I pride myself on taking care of the ball and they made two extremely great plays. We can’t have that happen. That’s my fault.”
Carr is 0-6 at Arrowhead Stadium with seven interceptions. He is 2-9 in games played in temperatures under 50 degrees and 0-5 when they dip below 40.
It was 36 degrees with a windchill of 25 at kickoff on.
“I think everyone struggles to a degree in the cold weather,” said coach Jon Gruden. “That’s why a lot of people move south. I have to do a better job of helping him. I think it starts with me and ends there. He is a good quarterback. I think he has a chance to be great. Just wasn’t his day and wasn’t our day.”
Carr refused to use the weather as an excuse.
“No, I threw the ball fine,” he said. “It felt great. If we don’t have those two turnovers, we are very efficient. Ran the ball well, threw the ball efficiently when we had opportunities and things like that. But then you have the turnovers and you’re like ‘oh gosh.’ Stats, right? I’m not into that, man. I think I handled (the weather) just fine. It was not a factor because I do not want to take anything away from the plays that they made to be honest with you.”
Carr credited Chiefs safeties Tyrann Mathieu and Thornhill for the savvy plays each made on the two interceptions.
“If it was 80 degrees or 30 degrees, it does not matter,” Carr said. “Those two safeties made great plays. I tip my hat to them.”
Mathieu came up with the first interception by shifting off his coverage assignment and jumping the route of tight end Darren Waller. By the time Carr realized what Mathieu had done, the ball was out of his hands.
“I think I’ve completed that ball to Darren a lot this year,” Carr said. “We’ve made that play a lot. You drop back and release the ball and you feel good, then you see (Mathieu) fall off and make a play.”
On the Thornhill interception, Carr’s target was Tyrell Williams.
“I’ve completed that one to Tyrell a lot of times,” Carr said. “You have to tip your cap to those plays that they made because there are times I can think of right now where we’ve hit those plays with those looks. They have smart players that fall off and make a play.”
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