Carr Talk: Get to know Raiders star on ‘Football Night in Kansas City’

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What drives Raiders star Derek Carr? The question seems especially relevant before sunrise on a chilly morning as he drives to work in a pick-up truck with two child seats in the back.

The MMQB’s Peter King joined Carr on his 40-minute commute to the team’s practice facility for an in-depth feature that will air Thursday on Football Night in Kansas City (7:30 p.m. ET, NBC) prior to Oakland’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs. King learned that Carr burns to be great, both on the field and off. He’s not just the quarterback of arguably the most exciting offense in football, and a key leader of the Raiders’ resurgence, he’s a devoted family man who takes pride in setting a strong example for those around him.

Read more: Peter King’s Ride Along with Derek Carr

“This is every day,” Carr said of his early commute. He added, “My character will rub off on my work ethic and the weight room and the film study and all those things, but when it comes down to excellence, I think about it off the field. I want people to think of my life, I want people to watch this and see me and know that that’s who I am.”

Watch Raiders vs. Chiefs live on NBC, online and on the NBC Sports App

King and Carr went in depth about Carr’s budding stardom, the pressure that comes with winning and the struggles of Carr’s brother, David, who entered the league as the Houston Texans’ first-overall pick in 2002. Derek Carr waited until the second round to be drafted but says he doesn’t think his brother’s star-crossed career affected his own draft position. In fact, he says it made him more attractive to the Raiders.

“We’re two completely different people, two completely different situations,” Carr told King. “I know that [GM] Reggie McKenzie didn’t feel that way and I think that is what fired me up the most is when they would talk about that situation they thought it was the biggest positive ever. Because they’re like, ‘You’ve already been in the NFL for 12 years, you’ve already seen it, you’ve already experienced the highs the lows, all the experience that you’ve gained is nothing but good. And when they said that, I was like, I want to go here so bad.”

For King, if a short drive to work was any indication, Carr has already arrived.

WATCH: Seahawks’ Paul Richardson pulls in absurd touchdown catch against Lions

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It took until the first round of the playoffs, but we may finally have our winner for catch of the year.

On 4th and goal at the Lions’ 2, Russell Wilson lobbed up a pass to Paul Richardson, who was completely covered by Tavon Wilson.

Richardson stuck out his left hand and pulled in a miraculous grab to give Seattle the lead.

[Watch the rest of the second half from Seattle on NBC Sports Live]

Simply amazing.

 

Seahawks, Texans are the betting favorites for Saturday’s Wild Card games

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The Seattle Seahawks’ sporadic scoring output is something to consider when looking at the big point spread against the Detroit Lions. The Seahawks are listed as eight-point favorites against the Lions in their NFC wild card matchup set for Saturday at CenturyLink Field, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Seahawks are 7-0 straight-up in their last seven home games against teams from the Eastern Time Zone and the Lions are 2-5 against the spread in their last seven road games. However, Seattle scored 10 or fewer points four times at home this season, and none of those instances came against a premier defense.

The Lions, 9-7 SU and 8-8 ATS, are coming into the playoffs on a three-loss skid. One boon to the Lions’ chances is that the Seahawks, without free safety Earl Thomas, have been hopeless at stopping deep passes. Quarterback Matthew Stafford should be able to hit a few deep shots to the likes of Golden Tate, Marvin Jones and T.J. Jones in order to compensate for a nearly nonexistent running game. That could help the Lions, who are 0-8 SU in their last eight playoff games, make it interesting.

The Seahawks, 10-5-1 SU and 7-8-1 ATS, have never lost at home in the playoffs during the Pete Carroll/Russell Wilson era. One can reasonably expect they will find some of their familiar postseason form. Seattle’s pass protection and run blocking has been problematic, so there could be opportunities to disrupt Wilson’s timing. Otherwise, WR Doug Baldwin and TE Jimmy Graham could have big nights.

The total has gone under in eight of the Lions’ last 10 games. The total has gone over in five of the Seahawks’ last six games in the playoffs.

Elsewhere, the Houston Texans are listed as four-point favorites against the Oakland Raiders in Saturday’s AFC wild card matchup.

The Raiders, 12-4 SU and 10-6 ATS, will have rookie third-stringer Connor Cook become the first NFL QB to get his first career start in the playoffs. With Cook playing instead of Derek Carr (broken fibula), Houston might not have to honor the deep pass threat and can thus commit to containing RB Latavius Murray and limiting the damage on short-range passes to WR Amari Cooper and WR Michael Crabtree.

The fact erratic Brock Osweiler is back in at QB might account for why the Texans, who are 9-7 SU and 6-9-1 ATS, are not a bigger favorite against a hobbled team. The Raiders simply haven’t stopped anyone when teams have schemed to slow down edge rushers Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin. If Osweiler can curb his tendency to be overaggressive and allow WR DeAndre Hopkins and RB Lamar Miller to have opportunities, the Texans should be able to move the ball steadily.

Keep in mind, though, that the visiting team has gone 4-0 SU and ATS in the last four editions of this matchup. The total has gone over in seven of the Raiders’ last 10 games.  The total has gone under in nine of the Texans’ last 12 games at home.