Derek Carr: facing Patriots is "not a scary thing"
The Patriots have recovered from a shaky 2-2 start and cruised to a 7-2 record, tied for best in the AFC through 10 weeks. This Sunday, they'll take on the 4-5 Raiders from Mexico City--but their opponent isn's backing down from the challenge.
Derek Carr, Oakland's star quarterback, was complementary but fearless when talking with reporters about the matchup. While he credited New England for its "efficient," "fundamentally sound" playing style and talent on both sides of the ball, he still felt that playing them won't be the challenge it's cracked up to be around the league.Per the San Jose Mercury News:
It’s not a scary thing to play them,” Carr said. “They’re the next team on the schedule. Let’s not make it something it’s not, but let’s respect that they’re very smart. They’re very wise in how they game plan things.
Every team tries to take things away that you do good and you try to hit them with other things. It works both ways.
Carr's teammate, wideout Amari Cooper, expressed similar feelings about going up against the Patriots' defense. While the unit was gashed over the first four games for over 30 points each, and allowed each of its first six opponents to throw for over 300 yards, the team hasn't allowed over 17 points since October 1 and has largely worked out the communication issues that plagued the back end during the first month. That didn't stop Cooper from licking his chops, though:
They’ve given up a lot of yards and things like that so we definitely feel we can go in and attack them on the ground and in the air.
If the recent stats are any indication, Cooper might not be the one doing much of the attacking. Aside from his 11-catch, 210-yard explosion against Kansas City in Week 7, the third-year receiver hasn't managed more than 62 yards in a game this year. That's unlikely to change going up against Malcolm Butler and Stephon Gilmore.
No matter how the outcome goes, Sunday's game is sure to be one of the season's more interesting matchups. Carr and the Raiders are certainly confident--but they're in for the biggest test of their year.