Derek Carr threw for a franchise-record 513 passing yards in a 30-24 overtime win over Tampa Bay this past Sunday. He made good throws, and his receivers made good catches.

But he also got really great protection.

“It helps that Derek is having a great year, but I think it starts with the offensive line,” San Francisco Chronicle Raiders writer Vic Tafur said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “They’re giving him a lot of time. In that game on Sunday, you saw how he wasn’t in trouble much. He kind of kept clean and had time to look for different guys. I think the O-Line is kind of the foundation of this team. They can run the ball if they have to, so I think that’s the strength of this squad.”

Carr’s receivers are among the best in the business. Amari Cooper had 12 catches for 173 yards and a touchdown against the Bucs. In fact, he 32 catches for 469 yards and two touchdowns over his last four games. Michael Crabtree, meanwhile, has 47 catches for 569 yards and a team-high six touchdown receptions on the season.

“Cooper obviously was a top pick, so I think everyone knew what he was going to do, but Crabtree is the guy,” Tafur said. “Crabtree was available to anyone who wanted to have him when he left the 49ers. He was coming off injuries and kind of viewed as kind of a malcontent at times, and they got him late in free agency and he’s really taken on a new life here. He really likes the area and he loves Derek Carr. He’s really found a home here with the Raiders.”

The Raiders (6-2) play perhaps the game of the week this Sunday against Denver (6-2) in a pivotal AFC West showdown.

“They’re a confident bunch,” Tafur said of the Raiders. “It helps that they beat the Broncos last year in Denver, so they know they can do it. I think it’s just a matter of Khalil Mack (being a difference-maker). He gets pressure, and if guys follow him, they’ll have a chance to win this game Sunday.”

Kickoff from Oakland Coliseum is slated for 8:30 p.m. ET.


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