Is Derek Carr the NFL’s future elite quarterback?

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Nov 8, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) passes the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the third quarter at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 38-35. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Year 2 (so far)

During Peyton Manning’s second season, the Colts offense was a well oiled machine. Marshall Faulk had been replaced by Edgerrin James who ended the year with over 2000 all-purpose yards from scrimmage.  1500 rushing yards, with 13 TDs, and 500 receiving for 4 TDs. Marvin Harrison also came out of his shell, becoming Manning’s favorite target amassing 115 catches 1663 yards, and 12 TDs.

  • Manning finished the season with 4135 yards, 26 TDs, to 15 interceptions and a rating of 90.7.

I hate to bring it up, but any Raiders fan remembers Tom Brady’s second year as a starter. I promise, I won’t even talk about the AFC Championship.

Brady’s second season; he won the Super Bowl. He hadn’t quite developed into what he will eventually become, but he had the ability to win games. No longer a running back my committee back field, Antowain Smith had almost 1000 yards rushing for the Patriots that year. The receiving options were plentiful, Troy Brown and David Patten both had over 800 yards receiving and a young Deion Branch had close to 500.

  • In total, Brady’s second season ended with 3764 yards passing, 28 TDs to 14 interceptions, and a QB rating of 85.7

Derek Carr’s second season has him surrounded by talent much like Manning and Brady were. Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper add quality options in the receiving game, and Latavius Murray was promoted to feature back after McFadden and Jones-Drew both left.

Through 9 games, Latavius Murray is on pace (health permitting) to be the first Raider running back to hit 1300+ yards since Marcus Allen in 1985, who ran for 1700+ yards (Napoleon Kauffman hit 1295 in 1997.) Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree could both potentially hit 1000+ yards receiving this year.

  • If Carr were to continue on the same pace he would finish the season with 4200 yards, 38 TDs, to 8 interceptions and a Rating of 104.3.

Their first-year stats between Manning and Carr were pretty close, considering Carr had zero viable offensive weapons around him, and managed to do as well as he did, I think he did a great job. While Brady didn’t start his first season, it does show how much a player can learn by being a backup his first season.

Obviously, Carr still has at least 8 more games to play this year, but right now he is out pacing Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in every category with a very similar set of offensive weapons surrounding him in year two. So, it seems Derek is on the right track.

Next: Derek Carr 2015