For some reason, I feel that this may be a controversial pick among many members of Raider Nation and many members of the NFL media. With the emergence of Justin Herbert, many fans and pundits were quick to crown him as the next best thing in the NFL, and have chosen to overlook the Raiders’ all-time leading passer in Derek Carr.
Carr has been overlooked his whole career primarily because of how much his team has struggled since he became the starter in his rookie season. We have discussed ad nauseam all of the reasons why the Raiders have been unable to be competitive during Carr’s career and most of them involve not fielding any semblance of a competent defense.
This list is not about defense, however, and even just as a player, Derek Carr currently ranks ahead of Herbert, but that could certainly change this season. Carr is coming off a career year where he set highs in several categories even while operating within the confines of Jon Gruden’s run-heavy offense.
Some point to Herbert’s raw totals as he outpaced Carr in yards and touchdowns in the same number of games but numbers need context and in the case of 2020, the Chargers threw the ball much more than the Raiders.
Regardless of the comparisons between Carr and Herbert on the stat sheet, the fact remains that Carr and the Raiders need to win and win now if he wants to keep his place not just on this list but on the team as well. It would be a big mistake if the Raiders choose to move on from Carr because they can’t field a playoff-level defense as several teams would be eternally grateful for a QB of his level on their rosters.