Most of the time in football, being aggressive is a good thing. For new head coaches Mike McDaniel and Brian Daboll, aggressive calls on Sunday helped power their teams to wins.
But sometimes aggression can turn into recklessness. And that’s what happened with quarterback Derek Carr in his Week One performance against the Chargers.
Carr finished the game 22-of-37 passing for 295 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions, each one of which was ostensibly his fault.
The first came when Carr tried to force a pass to tight end Darren Waller down the seam and linebacker Drue Tranquill came from underneath and picked it off. On the second, receiver Davante Adams had a step on his defenders but Carr’s ball to the end zone was under thrown and cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. came down with it. And on the third, Carr forced a short pass to receiver Hunter Renfrow and cornerback Bryce Callahan intercepted it.
“We did too many good things and I was way too aggressive,” Carr said postgame. “We came in with an aggressive mindset, especially with all the weapons that we have. That’s on me, the decisions to be too aggressive in certain moments.”
Making Carr’s last two interceptions more costly was that they both came in the fourth quarter and wiped out opportunities for the Raiders to score when the team’s defense had kept things competitive.
“We’ll turn on the film and I’ll be better,” Carr said. “I made way too many aggressive decisions when I didn’t have to. That’s what it came down to — me forcing the ball to my guys in moments I didn’t need to.”
But as Carr emphasized, it’s only one game out of 17.
“At the end of the day, they ended up beating us. But, are there signs that we’re going to be a good football team? Yeah, absolutely,” Carr said. “There’s no panic. I’ve been out there when it’s hard. I’ve been out there when it’s hard to get a first down, it’s hard to stop somebody. And that’s one of the best teams in the league. And it didn’t like it was so hard to where we couldn’t accomplish something. It definitely wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t like a miserable chance to try something. I saw that from the defense and I saw that from our guys.”