The Raiders have won each of their last two games, but the postgame response was very different in Week 15 than it was on Saturday.
In Week 15, the Raiders got to celebrate their first playoff berth since 2002 while looking ahead to a shot at clinching the AFC West title and a first-round bye. Quarterback Derek Carr fractured his fibula on Saturday, though, and that made for a far more muted celebration tinged with wistfulness about what Carr’s loss means to their hopes of making noise come the postseason.
For left tackle Donald Penn, postgame musings centered on the fact that linebacker Trent Cole tackled Carr on the play that ended with his injury. Cole was Penn’s man and was able to get to Carr after Penn slipped while initially pushing him past the pocket. Penn said he was “very disappointed in myself,” but coach Jack Del Rio said it will be up to Penn and the rest of the team to step up in support of Matt McGloin.
“Teams have to find a way to pick up and move on,” Del Rio said, via CSNBayArea.com. “We’ll rally around the next guy as best we can. That’s what you do. It’ll be incumbent on the offensive line and the backs to do more. The defense must do more. As a team, pick it up and do more to fill in. Obviously, it’s a big setback.”
As good as Carr has been this season, the team hasn’t won 12 games on the back of one player so Del Rio’s approach is a reasonable one in addition to being the only one available to the Raiders in the wake of Carr’s injury.