Las Vegas Raiders: 3 areas that explain Derek Carr’s hot start
1. Air yards
For years, Carr has been maligned for his unwillingness to push the ball down the field. And though he’s been taking significant steps to correct that narrative over the last two seasons, 2021 has shattered it. Carr currently has the highest yards per attempt in his career at 8.5, leads the league in 20+ yards plays, and is number one in air yards.
Much of this can be attributed to the connection between Carr and Henry Ruggs, who have formed one the best deep passing duos in the league. According to NFL.com, Carr and Ruggs lead the league in completion percentage over expected on post routes.
It seems he just needed a serious threat that he could trust, and the second-year wide receiver has provided just that. Ruggs, along with Bryan Edwards, both rank top five in yards per reception.
This is a far cry from his 5.7 yards per attempt in his rookie year in 2014. Carr is pushing the ball down the field and is taking chances that he simply would not have taken before.
In the end, Carr is showing that if the offense has the weapons to push the ball deep, he is more than capable.