Predicting the superlatives for the Raiders 2022 season
Offensive Player of the Year: Davante Adams
It’s no secret that Derek Carr is fond of spreading the ball around, and now loaded with Pro Bowlers in Hunter Renfrow, Darren Waller, and Davante Adams, it’s clear there’s a lot of sugar to be shared. Still, it’s hard to think of anyone being the Raiders’ Offensive Player of the Year outside of Davante Adams.
In every sense of the word, Adams is “that guy”. He can create on the outside to make big plays happen and are just as reliable as Renfrow when it comes to being a safety cushion. To top it off, Adams is the league’s best outside receiver when it comes to fades in the end zone, which is an area Carr excels at more than any other quarterback outside of Aaron Rodgers.
It’s hard not to be in disbelief at Adams’ last two seasons. In the 30 games he’s played in over this time, the former Packers star has accumulated 2,927 receiving yards with 29 touchdowns. This is essentially an average of 100 receiving yards and one touchdown in each game over the last two years.
While there’s no real argument that Adams will be less efficient with Carr, who excels in most departments Rodgers does to the point former Packers have dubbed the Raiders’ quarterback “Mini Rodgers”, there is merit in stating Adams’ numbers will likely drop a bit with Carr. Let me explain what I mean.
In 2020, Davante Adams was targeted 149 times. No pass catcher in the Derek Carr era has reached this mark, including last year with the additional contest. Twice in Adams’ career, including last season, the veteran wideout was targeted 169 times. That’s a number no pass-catcher has come particularly close to under Carr. Of course, this is even before considering Waller and Renfrow’s targets.
For these reasons, we can expect a drop-off in numbers, but that is not to be confused with a drop in efficiency for Davante. While Adams may not continue this 100-yard, 1 touchdown per game pace, there’s absolutely nothing to suggest he won’t remain in peak form when the ball comes his way.
Talent aside, what makes me unable to consider any other player for Offensive Player of the Year is the excitement Carr has being reunited with his guy; And let’s not kid ourselves, Adams is Carr’s guy. The two have been trying to reunite for years, finally doing so as a testament to the belief in Carr from the Raiders’ new regime.
It doesn’t mean Carr thinks any less of Waller or Renfrow as options, but if you were finally able to get your hands on the bike you’ve wanted for years, you would be dying to take that new bike out on a ride. There’s a lot of mutual emotion between the two, more than just on the field, and that should propel Adams as a go-to guy on a down-to-down basis.
Going back to the earlier comments of expecting Adams numbers to not be on par with ’20 and ’21 due to more sugar needing to be shared, in addition to Carr being a quarterback who’s known to spread targets out as is, it wouldn’t be crazy to go with QB1 as the Offensive Player of the Year. Although Carr’s importance cannot be understated, I see this award as a numbers award, and Carr is not a numbers quarterback.
For these reasons, Davante Adams is your 2022 Raiders’ Offensive Player of the Year in my eyes.