Carr, starting quarterback for Clements High School in Sugar Land, Texas, was going for a win in the class 5A region III semifinals. Luck was trying to do the same.
Carr laughed as he reminisced on the day:
“Man, I remember their fans chanting Carr sucks. I remember we ended up winning the game, I remember that, barely. I remember him just running all over us. I remember he ran over somebody and I was like, ‘Quarterbacks can do that?’ You know? I just remember him being super talented. It was a fun game but I think we got beat the next week or something short thereafter. So, it was alright.”
Luck took the loss that day, and entering Christmas Eve, his Indianapolis Colts must win out in order to make the playoffs. And the loss is the one thing that sticks in Luck’s memory that day, he said:
“Losing, which is never any fun. It being a tight one and unfortunately we didn’t come out on top. … He came out on top. I’ve always admired him. What a great job he’s done in the beginning of his career, especially this year.”
While the Raiders have their trip to the postseason locked down, they are also fighting to win the division and a first round bye. Carr said:
“Being able to go for the first time, I don’t see a team letting up, especially in this league. No one’s going to let up, we’re going to give everything that we got.”
It’s not just Carr and Luck that have a connection together from the mid-2000’s, Colts head coach Chuck Pagano was Oakland’s defensive backs coach in 2005-06. He said:
“I was blessed and fortunate to have had the opportunity to work for Mr. Davis for two years in 2005 and 2006. History speaks for itself. What a great organization and great franchise and great man Mr. Davis was. I learned a tremendous amount of football and a lot of things from him. Again, I was very, very fortunate and had a great two years, me and my family, out there. Again, it’s just a testament to that organization and Mark Davis and the job that he’s done and the job that Coach Del Rio and his staff have done and those players.”
Pagano also offered an evaluation of the current team:
“They’re playing at a high level right now and playing with a ton of confidence. He has a bunch of good players. The way they play the game, when you put on the tape, offense, defense and special teams, again a testament to what they’ve put together out there and the job that Jack and his staff have done.”
“It’s obvious. It’s the first thing you see, two very special, premier players. There’s a lot more than that. It’s a stout, stout front seven, linebackers that can play, big, fast, physical, athletic. Some really good cover guys. We know we have our work cut out for us. It should be a fun one. A great challenge.”
It’ll be Oakland’s final regular season home game, and Carr will look to extend his NFL-best five game-winning touchdown passes in the fourth quarter or overtime in a season, to six. Carr has authored seven fourth-quarter comeback drives this season — tied for second most in NFL history.
Jason Leskiw is SFBay’s Oakland Raiders beat writer and member of the Professional Football Writers of America. Follow @SFBay and @LeskiwSFBay on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of Raiders football.