Derek Carr's season could not have started off any better. He's 3-0 with victories over quality competition and has six touchdowns and two interceptions. Of course, Carr's injury scares have been the only black mark on what is otherwise a spotless record.
With his game-ready status up in the air last week, some may be wondering if Carr will be playing tonight against the Chargers.
Will Derek Carr play in Week Four?
Derek Carr is not on the Raiders' injury report and is expected to be ready to play at full speed. The Raiders are breathing a sigh of relief as they don't currently have a reliable replacement quarterback. Backup quarterback Marcus Mariota is dealing with his own injury issues and will be out until at least Week Five.
In his place, the Raiders have fourth-year quarterback Nathan Peterman. Peterman, as long-time football fans may remember, was the Bills' backup quarterback who became infamous after throwing five interceptions in a 54-24 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers in 2017.
Needless to say, the Raiders are hoping they don't have to resort to Peterman in tonight's game.
Instead, the Raiders have a gameplan for Derek Carr in a game that will decide the leader of the AFC West. The Raiders are 3-0 and the Chargers are 2-1. If the Raiders lose to the Chargers, both teams will be 3-1.
Since the Chargers would have a head-to-head tie breaker over the Raiders with a win, they would take the lead in the division.
This is, so far, the biggest game of the season for the Raiders. If the Raiders win, they will begin to pull away in the division. After losing their starting quarterback, the second-place Broncos may be on the verge of hitting a wall.
The Chiefs, with a record of 2-2, are behind in the division with an upcoming tough schedule. The Chargers would be two games behind the Raiders with a loss.
With a win tonight, the Raiders will be the unchallenged leaders in the AFC West (for at least a few weeks). To make this a reality, the Raiders' defense needs to step up to the plate to keep Justin Herbert in check.
Ranked 14th overall, the team has a shot at making this happen. Also, having an offense that ranks first is a key step to winning tonight's matchup.
If the defense can hold the Chargers under 30 points, the Raiders should have a great chance to win the game. Of course, this is still asking a lot of Derek Carr. But with his playing status not in doubt, the quarterback has a great shot at putting up big numbers this evening to earn the win with the sun setting in the distance.