It is time to put the Oakland Raiders quarterback question to rest
By Joey Bates
There has been a lot of talk surrounding Derek Carr’s future with the Raiders, but all that noise needs to be put to rest immediately.
“He’s a coach on the field instead of a player on the field,” said Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden during his Monday presser. He was talking about Raiders QB1 Derek Carr.
Carr has taken more than his fair share of criticism since his MVP level performance in 2016. He’s been accused of checking the ball down too much, he’s been accused of crying on the field, he’s been called soft, and people have said that he has no “dog” in him.
Derek Carr answered the critics on Sunday.
On Sunday against the Detroit Lions, Carr led his, franchise-record eighteenth career game-winning drive, and he did it by throwing strikes down the field. Carr finished the game with 9.32 yards per attempt (YPA), according to Pro-Football-Reference, which was his fourth straight game with over seven yards per attempt.
There are not many quarterbacks in the NFL that can make the kind of throw that Carr made to Jalen Richard with 5:14 left in the game. There are not many quarterbacks in the NFL who scramble to avoid pressure, and find a rookie wide receiver open for a game winner like Carr did.
Carr is playing better than he ever has. That’s not an opinion, it’s a fact. He’s making plays with his feet, off-schedule, buying time in the pocket, and keeping his eyes downfield. According to Josh Dubow of the Associated Press, over the last five games, Carr has a 69.7% completion percentage, 8.5 yard per attempt, 9 touchdowns, 1 interception, and a rating of 112.4.
More from Just Blog Baby
- Raiders news: Free agent TE Foster Moreau diagnosed with cancer
- Order your Jimmy Garoppolo Las Vegas Raiders gear now
- Las Vegas Raiders: 2023 NFL Draft will make-or-break David Ziegler Era
- Raiders news: Jimmy Garoppolo offered a different kind of deal
- Raiders 2023 NFL Draft: Trading down for an elite DT on Day 1
Over the season, Carr has averaged 71.2% completion percentage, 7.9 yards per attempt, 13 touchdowns, 4 interceptions, and 105.1 rating. That’s franchise quarterback numbers, folks.
To compare, Mitchell Trubisky was a dark-horse MVP candidate preseason. His numbers? 5 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 63% completion percentage, 5.6 yards per attempt, and a 66.6 rating. What about another bay-area QB who has a media-narrative right now, Jimmy Garoppolo? On the season, he has 13 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, 70.8% completion percentage, and 100.6 rating.
Derek Carr has franchise quarterback numbers, and he’s just getting better.
It’s not just about the numbers, either, and that’s what makes this so special. Gruden has confidence in Derek at the line of scrimmage. Carr is making checks and calls to get out of bad plays, and into good ones.
The offense Carr is commanding is averaging 6.2 yards per play, which ranks 4th in the NFL. The offense is humming, and it all starts with the quarterback. Derek Carr is in complete control. He is the field general, again.
Think about it, Carr had his first full season under-center last year for the first time in two years (He broke his leg in 2016, and broke his back in 2017), and he was learning a new offense. With two rookie tackles, a revolving door at wide receiver, with media and fan criticism and rumors that he was going to be traded in the offseason.
With all of that noise, Carr had career highs in yards, yards per attempt, and completion percentage. He also led the Raiders to victory with game winning drives in three out of their four wins. Carr proved that he was not the problem, he was learning, he was growing. He was learning what it meant to be, not just a quarterback, but a coach on the field.
Well, now, Raider Nation, we’re seeing what we had hoped to see. Derek Carr in sync with Jon Gruden. The Raiders are 4-4, and a big part of those four wins is No. 4, Derek Carr.
Carr has taken his criticism. But if we’re going to be fair, we have to praise when praise is warranted, and what the tape and stats say is that Derek Carr is the Raiders QB for now, and for the foreseeable future, and he has earned that right.