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Derek Carr’s audible calls were the real winners Sunday night: James Harden, Pistol Pete, Purple Walrus and more

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Derek Carr and the Raiders were bested by Patrick Mahomes on “Sunday Night Football,” but the real winner of the night might have been Carr’s audible calls. 

With no fans in Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium, the natural sound from the field came through loud and clear on the NBC broadcast. That meant that when Carr yelled out “James Harden,” “Pistol Pete,” “Purple Walrus” and more, it came through loud and clear to the millions of Americans tuned in to the game. Kansas City won 35-31, but did Mahomes yell out seemingly random NBA players’ names during the middle of the game? Didn’t think so.

This wasn’t a new feat for Carr. When Las Vegas played at Kansas City on Oct. 11, Carr went into his bag of audibles and pulled out both a “Bruce Springsteen” call and a “Joe Montana” call. Maybe The Boss and one of the best QBs ever were the key to upsetting the Chiefs.

MORE: Angry Derek Carr is the latest NFL meme

Social media didn’t just blow up Sunday night because of the names he was calling out, but because they set jokes up on a tee. People wanted to know why the “James Harden” audible didn’t lead to a stepback or a euro step or a flop. “Pistol Pete” didn’t lead to some flashy pass, and “Chris Mullin” didn’t result in a fundamentally sound left-handed play. 

One tweeter noted that it seemed each NBA player audible resulted in a run and wondered whether that relied on the “connotation” that NBA players don’t pass.

“Purple Walrus” didn’t fit in with the NBA theme, but it did bring out some Andy Reid jokes on Twitter.

The Raiders also called an audible that the broadcast team heard as “Mamba Georgia,” calling on Kobe Bryant, but that the Internet seemed to more accurately identify as “Mom in Georgia.” Carr is from California, so it’s not a reference to his mother. And there was a “Google” audible that resulted in a first down, which makes sense because Google basically controls the world.

The Ringer’s Rodger Sherman pointed out that Las Vegas’ audible calls were “too polysyllabic and unusual,” and wondered whether the whole goal was to go viral. If that was the Raiders’ goal, it worked.

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