Las Vegas Raiders: 3 areas that explain Derek Carr’s hot start
3. Mastery on third down
One of the more confusing things about the Raiders this year is their below-average play on third down. They currently rank 17th in terms of third-down conversion percentage at 40%. However, Carr has been one of the best in the league on third down.
According to the football database, he currently ranks 4th in passer rating (115.0), first in yards (733), first in yards per attempt (12.0), and first in 20+ yard plays. So not only is he passing well on third down, but he is also making big-time plays in those situations.
So why the lack of success?
Well, the success rate between when the Raiders pass on third down and when they run on third down is very stark. According to Sharp football stats, the Raiders are 8th in successful play rate when passing on third down, yet are 27th in the league when it comes to running on third down.
So it appears they may need to put the ball in Carr’s hands-on third-down, regardless of the situation, more often than not.
The Las Vegas Raiders beat Pittsburgh on Sunday, and quarterback Derek Carr showed his true 'Mamba Mentality' versus in the victory.
Overall these are just three areas that have contributed to Carr’s terrific start, and there are many others we can show. Early in his career, many would have pointed to some of these stats as unfavorable against him. However, he continues to evolve year by year, and 2021 is looking like his best performance yet.