Though his debut with the Saints wasn’t always pretty, the team was able to beat the Tennessee Titans 16-15. The Raiders also had a close win in Week 1 against the Denver Broncos so it was a good start to the season for both sides.
Carr has acknowledged that he was upset that the Raiders decided to move on from him but he appears to have moved on. A Raiders fan on X congratulated Carr on his first win as a Saints. The quarterback responded by congratulating the Raiders on their win in a September 10 X post.
While Carr didn’t want to be released by the Raiders, he’s still the team’s all-time leading passer with 35,222 yards and 217 touchdowns. It’s going to be a long time before anybody is able to pass him up in the franchise history books. He’s even admitted that he’s still rooting for the Raiders despite being on the Saints now.
“But I have no hard feelings toward any of my guys,” Carr said in his August 17 media availability, per Adam Hill of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I want them to succeed because I know when you don’t succeed, it’s tough. It’s hard and it’s hard on your family. It’s hard on everyone, and I don’t want that for my friends.”
Derek Carr Happy to Win an Ugly Game
Derek Carr won a lot of ugly games during his time with the Raiders and his move to New Orleans hasn’t made the wins any prettier. Carr had some up-and-downs throughout the game. He failed to score touchdowns on two red zone trips in the first half and threw an ugly interception.
However, he was helped by a Saints defense that had three interceptions on Ryan Tannehill. Carr isn’t used to getting a ton of help on defense so he made the most of it. He’s just happy to get a win no matter how ugly it is.
“I’m glad we won. That’s all I wanted to do,” Carr said in his September 10 postgame media availability. “That was one of the more physical games I’ve played in my 10 years. … We showed that we could win the ultimate physical type of game.”
Jimmy Garoppolo Impresses in Debut
Not to be overshadowed by Derek Carr was his replacement Jimmy Garoppolo, who also helped win an ugly game. Garoppolo looked comfortable in the Raiders offense and threw for two touchdowns and 200 yards in his debut. It wasn’t the biggest stat line but he sealed the win with a late fourth-quarter run for a first down.
Head coach Josh McDaniels was very impressed with what he saw from Garoppolo despite some bumps throughout the game.
“Jimmy’s got great mental toughness,” McDaniels said in his September 10 postgame media availability. “He’s a competitor. You have to have a short-term memory if you’re going to play quarterback in this league and win games in the fourth quarter. … He understood that he was trying to make something there that wasn’t quite there.
“I just love his grit and love his toughness.”
Austin Boyd has covered the Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Lakers for Heavy.com since 2019. Born and raised in Los Angeles, his featured work at Heavy includes interviews with NFL stars Darren Waller and Joe Montana, and a behind-the-scenes look at “The Shop.” More about Austin Boyd
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