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Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams and quarterback Derek Carr are best friends whose relationship goes back to their tie in college together at Fresno State. In addition to having a QB/WR bond on the football field, Adams and Carr have a bond off the field as well. Much of it goes back to the time the two almost died together, and Adams admits that it was his fault.

Davante Adams and Derek Carr once had a harrowing whitewater rafting experience

On ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown ahead of the Las Vegas Raiders Week 1 matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers, writer Tim Keown profiled new teammates Davante Adams and Derek Carr.

The wide receiver recalled the time he and his college QB went on a whitewater rafting excursion together. Adams had no idea what to expect and figured the “Lazy River” feel of the beginning of the trip was how it would be.

The future All-Pro receiver was in for a rude awakening when the group hit the first set of rapids. As he told ESPN:

The instructor tells us to hold on, and I’m like, ‘hold on for what?’ As soon as we go down, he’s telling us, ‘don’t stop paddling.’ So, what do I do? Stop paddling as soon as we get through there. I slide into the boat to make sure I don’t go in, and it threw the balance off. And as soon as we hit one of those rapids, it just shot us up. Everyone went flying out. When you almost lose your life together, it can bring you closer.

And now Adams and Carr are as close as friends get. The pair hung out together every summer in Northern California while Carr played for his hometown Oakland Raiders and Adams was with Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

Despite the franchise moving away from where Carr and Adams grew up, the wideout still decided to join his buddy and the franchise this season on a five-year, $140 million deal after a trade from the Packers.

Can the Raiders win the AFC West with the Fresno State connection?

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and wide receiver Davante Adams.
Derek Carr and Davante Adams | Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

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In the last two seasons Derek Carr and Davante Adams played together (2012-13 at Fresno State), Adams had a staggering 233 catches for 3,031 yards and 38 touchdowns.

Reunited in Sin City, the duo is hoping to replicate their individual success together, although with better team results. The Bulldogs were 9-4 in 2012 but did go 11-2 in their final season together.

This season, the goal for the pair and the Raiders is to win the AFC West and, after that, the Super Bowl. The first goal might actually be tougher than the second.

The AFC West is absolutely loaded this year. From the quarterbacks (Carr, Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, Justin Herbert) to the pass-catchers (Adams, Travis Kelce, Courtland Sutton, Keenan Allen) to the pass-rushers (Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones, Frank Clark and George Karlaftis, Bradley Chubb and Randy Gregory, Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack), the division is stacked.

The Raiders’ schedule doesn’t do them any favors, either. The team starts against the team they ended the season with last season in Justin Herbert and the Chargers, and they don’t play another non-2021 playoff team until Week 6.

The season will be long and arduous for the Raiders and new head coach Josh McDaniels. But if the Fresno State connection can reclaim some of the magic forged in college and on that near-fateful whitewater rafting trip, they have a chance to have a memorable season.

All stats courtesy of Sports Reference