Maybe Derek Carr needs to kill the dive-with-the-ball-extended-near-the-goal-line maneuver from his repertoire.
The Oakland Raiders quarterback was off to a good start Sunday, completing 12 of his first 15 passes for 167 yards and a TD against the Green Bay Packers. But one costly run marred his performance late in the second quarter.
On the first play after the two-minute warning in the first half, Carr scrambled to his left and tried to dive for the end zone. The problem? He extended the ball and had it knocked loose. The fumble then went through the end zone.
Many have argued that this is one of the worst rules in the NFL — when a player fumbles a ball through the end zone, possession is given to the defense, and at the 20-yard line on what’s considered a touchback. (If you fumble it 1 inch short of the pylon, for instance, and the ball goes out of bounds before the end zone, the offense maintains possession.)
Argue the merits of the play if you will, but the rule is what it is. And it’s a rule Carr knows all too well.
Two seasons ago, a struggling Raiders team was on the verge of beating the Dallas Cowboys in a Week 15 game in Oakland. The Raiders trailed 20-17 in the final minute when Carr went diving toward the end zone on a scramble — on the same side of the field, no less — and had the ball knocked loose by the Cowboys’ Jeff Heath.
The ball was correctly given to the Cowboys, who took a knee and won the game.
On Sunday, after Carr’s turnover, the Packers drove down the field and scored to take a 21-10 halftime lead. Carr’s fumble was a huge turning point that feels strangely similar to his mistake from two years ago.
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