Could Sunday night determine Derek Carr’s future with the Raiders?
Carr’s career to this point
Fast forward eight years later and Carr is still the starting quarterback of the now-Las Vegas Raiders. Carr survived a hard rookie season and promising following seasons before breaking his ankle after leading the team to a 12-3 start.
Carr survived another collapse and the return of Head Coach Jon Gruden who became Carr’s biggest fan. Carr survived more bad to mediocre seasons, all while steadily improving under Gruden. Carr survived an exodus, a rebuild, multiple collapses, a scandal surrounding his biggest fan and head coach, a tragedy with his star receiver, and more dysfunction.
Eight years, no eighteen years, of disappointment has all led to this upcoming Sunday night in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2022. Carr’s future is officially on the line.
Many have been skeptical of Carr’s future before. Carr was once the highest-paid player in the NFL following an MVP caliber season but shortly fell out of favor among some Raiders fans following tumultuous seasons. As Carr improved under Gruden, he has settled into a middle-of-the-pack quarterback who needs a lot of help to win.
The biggest issue is Carr hasn’t won. Carr is 56-70 as a starting NFL quarterback, one of the worst starts to a career ever. However, the Raiders have failed Carr.
Since Carr joined the Raiders, he has had the worst support in the NFL. Carr has never had premier weapons outside of the 2016 playoff run and earlier this season. The Raiders have also been the worst defense in DVOA and have had some historically poor seasons.
Carr hasn’t elevated the Raiders, but he’s had moments. He’s made pro bowls and set franchise records. Carr has been good enough to win, but he hasn’t because of the rest of the team.
However, the critics of Carr will point to his lack of pushing the ball downfield, conservative approach, poor performance under pressure, and turnovers. These are all valid points and go to show why Carr is considered by many as a middle-of-the-pack quarterback.