The Las Vegas Raiders have question marks on both sides of the ball, but quarterback Derek Carr has more options than ever in 2021.
The Las Vegas Raiders will begin the 2021 season with Derek Carr as their starting quarterback, as he enters his eighth season as the starter. Since starting in the season opener against the New York Jets on September 7, 2014, Carr has been a constant for the Raiders, leading them to some solid heights, like the 2016 season, but also some terrible lows.
Through it all, Carr has racked up big-time statistics and goes into the 2021 season as the franchise’s all-time leader in numerous passing categories. While statistics are nice, that is not what fans of the franchise are looking for this season, as it is playoffs-or-bust for the 2021 Raiders.
Luckily for Raider Nation, and Carr, the Silver and Black have a ton of options when it comes to the offensive side of the ball, including a dominant two-headed monster at running back. While wide receiver is still a bit of an unknown, Las Vegas has one of the best tight ends in football in Darren Waller, and both he and Josh Jacobs, their feature back, are coming off their first Pro Bowl seasons.
With a revamped offensive line, there could be some growing pains upfront, but for the most part, this is the most complete set of weapons Carr has ever had.
Raiders to lean on Derek Carr in playoff quest
In order to finally get back to the playoffs, a place they have only been once since the 2002 NFL season, the Raiders will be leaning heavily on Derek Carr. The wide receiver group is young, led by Henry Ruggs III and Bryan Edwards, and the team is also working in a brand new No. 2 running back in Kenyan Drake.
Not to mention that Derek Carr has an automatic target in Hunter Renfrow, and his relationship with Zay Jones will likely lead to No. 7 being on the 53-man roster for Week 1.
Carr has complete control of Jon Gruden’s offense, which is one of the more complicated in football, and he has become a second coach on the field for the coaching staff. While he has a rookie right tackle, as well as a brand new center, Carr should be more than comfortable, and capable of making this a top-10 offense in 2021.
The Raiders defense was a massive liability last season, but new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley looks to help the Raiders take the next step.
Overall, the Raiders got great play from Carr last season, and he has been above average since Gruden took back over as head coach of the Raiders. The defense needs to step up in 2021, and that is an understatement, but the offense also needs to continue to play at a high level, and Carr has the kind of weapons that could lead to him being a Pro Bowler this season and hopefully making his first playoff start.