OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – All Derek Carr wanted after he threw a late interception in a tie game was a chance.
When that opportunity came, Carr didn’t squander it.
Carr bounced back from that critical mistake to throw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Seth Roberts with 26 seconds left to cap the most productive day of his young career and lead the Oakland Raiders to a 37-33 victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.
“I’m thankful our defense held up,” Carr said. “After that I told the guys in the huddle, ‘Believe it. We’ve done this a thousand times.’ They did a great job of making plays.”
Carr went 7 for 9 for 65 yards on the winning drive. He was helped by a personal foul on Timmy Jernigan and a hold on Will Hill III that negated an interception on the play before the touchdown that gave Jack Del Rio his first win as coach of his childhood favorite team.
“It was special,” Del Rio said. “I had to focus on taking my mind elsewhere so I didn’t get all choked up. Very special for me.”
Carr threw for a career-high 351 yards and three touchdowns a week after being knocked out of a season-opening loss with an injured throwing hand.
Joe Flacco threw for 384 yards and two scores but just missed an open Steve Smith Sr. in the end zone to force Baltimore to settle for a field goal before Oakland’s winning drive. Flacco then threw a late interception that sealed it and sent the Ravens to their first 0-2 start since 2005.
“Right now we’re not playing good enough as a team to win football games,” Flacco said. “That’s what happens, you lose games.”
The Ravens played their first game in nearly 17 years without Ray Lewis, Ed Reed or Terrell Suggs anchoring the defense following Suggs’ season-ending injury in the opener last week.
The defense looked nothing like a typical Ravens unit with Carr and the Raiders able to move the ball downfield with ease with little pressure and plenty of big plays.
The Raiders gained 448 yards – more than twice what Baltimore allowed to Peyton Manning and the Broncos in a 19-13 loss last week – and easily moved down the field on the winning drive.
“You can’t replace a Hall of Fame-caliber player,” defensive end Chris Canty said. “We understood the challenge that was ahead of us. We understood that we had to find guys and guys had to step up. Quite frankly, we took a step backward.”
Baltimore had overcome a pair of 10-point deficits, including one after Carr threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree late in the third quarter, to take the lead.
Flacco responded by leading a pair of long drives for a field goal by Justin Tucker and a 7-yard run by Lorenzo Taliaferro that completed a 93-yard drive and tied the game with 7:03 to play.
Flacco relied heavily on the 36-year-old Smith, who had 10 catches for 150 yards but couldn’t get a second foot down in the end zone on an off-target pass from Flacco before Tucker’s go-ahead field goal with 2:10 to go.
After failing to run a single offensive play in Cincinnati territory in the first three quarters of the opener, the Raiders got off to a fast start. Amari Cooper made up for two early drops by beating Jimmy Smith deep on a 68-yard touchdown on the opening drive.
Cooper had seven catches for 109 yards and Crabtree had nine for 111 as Carr had the big-play receivers on the outside he lacked so often in his rookie season a year ago.
“He showed poise and he stood there in the pocket and made some great throws,” safety Charles Woodson said “This guy, he’s a special guy. You saw that with the last drive today.”
NOTES: The Raiders had a pair of players reach 100 yards receiving for the first time since the 2011 season finale when Denarius Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey did it. … The Ravens lost for the second time in nine meetings with the Raiders with the other coming in 2003.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.