Raiders: No, Davante Adams won’t regress without Aaron Rodgers
Comparing analytics between the two veterans, pt. 1/2
Opinions are always fun, whether they’re from a fan of the sport, or from someone as qualified as a player who lived the situation being discussed. Analytics, on the other hand, provide a more solidified foundation for a stance.
What I’m going to do here is compare some key analytics of Rodgers and Carr. Mostly, they will be departments Rodgers is known at excelling under, and seeing where Carr lands in comparison, to see if there would be a real reason for Davante Adams to suffer.
To touch on something I wrote earlier – Both Aaron Rodgers and Derek Carr have been top-2 in on-target pass percentage once in the last three years. In 2019, Carr was the second-most accurate quarterback leaguewide, with Rodgers ranking 16th. One year later, in 2020, Rodgers ranked second in accurate pass percentage, with Carr still in the top-10 at 9.
This last season, Carr once again finished ahead of Rodgers in accurate pass percentage; 77.4% to 77.3%. Yes, that’s only a .1% difference in Carr’s favor. That said, it’s infinitely better than the 10-20% fans feel Rodgers has on the Raiders’ QB.
In these three years, Carr has posted accurate pass percentages of 82.6, 78.9, and 77.4. On average, this is a percentage of 79.63. For Rodgers, his numbers are 74.7, 81.2, and 77.3%. In comparison to Carr’s 79.63% of on-target passes, Rodgers has had 77.73%. That’s right – Over the past three seasons, Carr has been the more accurate quarterback, numbers courtesy of Pro Football Reference.
When looking at these numbers, some may immediately differ to the number of deep balls each quarterback throws. Luckily for us, the people at Fantasy Pros have us covered there.
In 2019, Carr threw 54 balls 20-yards or more, while Rodgers tossed 52 that distance. The following year, Rodgers totaled 57 attempts from that same 20-yards or more mark, while Carr was three behind at 54. At this point in time, from ’19-’20, Rodgers let just one more ‘deep ball’ go than Carr. 2021 is the real separator, though.
In the most recent season, the NFL hosted, only Tom Brady threw more 20-yards or more passes than Derek Carr. While Brady had 75, Carr locked down second with 67. Rodgers, 12 below, at 55.
That’s right – Not only has Carr been more accurate than Rodgers in these last three years combined, but he’s done it throwing more deep shots as well. Note: The above is passes that travel 20-yards minimum through the air, not ultimately end up being 20+ yards.
Now that we know there’s no accuracy drop-off between Carr and Rodgers, we’ll turn our attention to something else I glossed over early on; The deep ball.
It’s good we cover this after reading Carr tossed more 20+ yard bombs than Rodgers in a three-year window, as well as last season alone, keeping that fresh in our minds. Tossing them is only half the battle. How did those passes end up?
When throwing ‘deep’, following by the same parameters as above, Carr’s 38.8 completion percentage was superior to Rodgers’ 38.1%. More impressively, Las Vegas’ man under center completed 50% of these deep attempts against the blitz, totaling a league-high 420 yards when letting it fly against pressure.
The success going deep led Carr to be ranked ninth when throwing long, via the abovementioned Next Gen Stats. Rodgers followed close by, coming in at tenth.
A bulk of this may be shocking to fans, and that’s no surprise. As we see, not only does Carr compare with Rodgers in key ways that helped Adams have so much success in Green Bay, but Carr actually tops Rodgers in most of these key categories. There’s still more to come, too.