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ESPN REVEALS NEW MAG COVER FEATURING RAIDERS QB DEREK CARR

In case you missed it: Below is the newly released cover of ESPN The Magazine’s “NFL Chemistry” Issue, featuring Raiders QB Derek Carr. The issue doesn’t hit newsstands until Friday, Dec. 2, however it was revealed just prior to last night’s historic game in Mexico City. The cover story, written by Mina Kimes is now available online: http://es.pn/2ggQhTZ.

To download cover: http://bit.ly/2ggQIho

The rap on Derek Carr was this: Hit him and he could crumble. So if you want to know the story behind Carr's MVP-level performance this season, start with the line in front of him.

Please find additional story information, key excerpts, and quotes below:

- Heading into last night's tilt with the Texans in Mexico City, Carr had thrown 17 TDs and just three interceptions, a ratio that puts him in elite company and could set him up for a mammoth new deal. "When the ball is in his hands late in the game, everybody believes something big is gonna happen," says Matt Hasselbeck, a former NFL quarterback who now works as an ESPN analyst. "I saw that with Brett Favre when I was his teammate."

- While Carr has risen on the strength of his unique talents, he has soared because of the giants who stand in front of him-those violent actors who buy him room to breathe, a luxury David never experienced as a young quarterback. "I've been able to see complete, total opposite sides of it," Carr says. "I saw my brother in Houston have nothing. And I have our offensive line, which I think is the best in the NFL."

- "When a quarterback can step into his throws and he's got an arm like Derek?" He chuckles. "People are in trouble." -- Raiders O-line coach Mike Tice 

- "I've been able to see complete, total opposite sides of it," Carr says. "I saw my brother in Houston have nothing. And I have our offensive line, which I think is the best in the NFL." The contrast is astonishing. David, who played behind a rotating cast of human turnstiles on the then newly formed Texans, was sacked a record 76 times during his rookie year, which is more than Derek has been taken down since entering the NFL. This year the Raiders' offensive line has allowed just 11 sacks and 21 quarterback hits, ranking first in the league through Week 10. 

- Thanks in part to their quarterback's cheap contract, the Raiders currently devote $37.7 million in cap dollars to the offensive line, $3 million more than what any other team pays. When asked if he's aware of how expensive his line is, Carr nods. "As it should be," he says. 

- The Raiders' offensive line is unique in several ways, aside from being the most expensive. It's one of two NFL starting units composed entirely of black players; left tackle Donald Penn says they've hung posters of the NCAA-championship-winning 1966 Texas Western basketball team and the Tuskegee Airmen, other groups that shared similar distinctions, in their practice room. It's also the heaviest line in football, with the average lineman weighing in at 324.2 pounds. That runs counter to the trend of teams employing lighter, more athletic linemen who can move side to side while blocking.

If you have any questions or need any other assets, please feel free to reach out.

Media contact: carrie.b.kreiswirth@espn.com

Date: 
Tuesday, November 22, 2016