Oakland Raiders: Derek Carr inching closer to Peyton Manning
By Brad Weiss
Derek Carr has had a wonderful start to his NFL career for the Raiders, and he has a chance to make some history on Sunday against the Chiefs.
Derek Carr has put the Oakland Raiders on his back this season, producing at a very high level despite the fact he has had to deal with a ton of adversity in 2018. He is playing behind an offensive line with two rookie tackles, as well as one that has been dealing with injuries to their Pro Bowl caliber guards.
In addition, the team traded away Amari Cooper at the trade deadline, and they have really only been getting production from Jordy Nelson for a couple of weeks now. Tight end Jared Cook has played at a Pro Bowl level all season long, but when you look at this offense as whole, there is no way he should be putting up the kind of numbers he has in 2018.
The talk heading into the 2018 season was if Carr and head coach Jon Gruden could coexist, as they seemed so different in personality. While it took a bit for Carr to get used to Gruden’s system, he has been one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL since Week 5, and he has not thrown an interception since.
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Heading into Sunday, Carr has a chance to put an exclamation point on his first five seasons in the league, as he needs only 15 completions to pass Peyton Manning for the most all time to start a career. Going up against a very mediocre Chiefs defense, Carr should easily pass that number, and he could be in line for his first 4,000 yard season as well.
Carr needs only 136 yards to eclipse the 4,000-yard mark for the first time in his career, and against the Chiefs, he will likely go for at least 200. In addition, he needs only one more touchdown pass to have at least 20 in each of his first five seasons, and he gets one, he will be only the fourth quarterback in NFL history to achieve that, joining Manning, Russell Wilson, and Dan Marino.
Finally, he is completing better than 68% of his passes this season, which would be by far his highest completion percentage of his career. He has been an absolute monster for the Raiders, and is the definition of franchise quarterback.
The alarming stat this season for Carr has been how many times he has been sacked, which, according to Pro Football Focus, is around 8.5%. The highest he ever head going into 2018 was 5.1%, so Tom Cable and the rest of the coaching staff better figure this out before the team heads into 2019.
The Raiders record has been embarrassing this season, but Carr has continued to go into each game with the same passion, and same will to win. He has mastered Jon Gruden’s offense, and as we close out 2018, Raider Nation has to be excited about Carr, who is only 27-years old, and could have another ten good seasons left in him.
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