Raiders: No, Davante Adams won’t regress without Aaron Rodgers
Comparing analytics between the two veterans, pt. 2/2
We tackled some of the big things already, but there’s still more to sink your teeth into.
Again, I have to go back to this not being an attempt to paint Carr and Rodgers as quarterbacks of the same caliber. As I continue to claim, my intent is to show how no.4 of the Silver and Black shares a multitude of strengths with Davante Adams’ now former quarterback, Aaron Rodgers.
Another thing the future Hall Of Famer in Green Bay does well is keeping drives alive. He does this by making great plays on third-down, giving his team the best chance to win ball games. Rodgers does this so well, that he held the league’s highest third-down quarterback rating last season, among full-time starting quarterbacks. Subsequently, the Packers earned the no.1 seed in the NFC.
Per The Game Day, Carr wasn’t too far behind, earning the eighth-highest third-down quarterback rating among full-time starting pass slingers. Now, with Adams, expect Carr to continue climbing the rankings.
Perhaps the thing Rodgers has been the most masterful with over his luxurious career is escaping pressure to keep plays alive. Like Rodgers, this is another thing Carr excels at.
In 2020, the second-round draft pick in 2014 evaded 19.1% of pressures his way, ranking fifth league-wide, per Next Gen Stats. Knowing Carr can extend plays at a high clip is yet another skill to note, and ultimately, we can check off another reason Adams cannot possibly be less efficient with his new quarterback. The legendary Packer is elite at extending plays, and Carr is well-versed himself.
Lastly, we get to a category the first rookie quarterback to start on opening day in Raider history is often criticized by the general public, although there’s no real reason for it: The ability to perform under pressure.
In 2019, Carr was absolutely masterful, ranking as the third-best quarterback under pressure, per NFL Network. He posted a 103.7 passer rating, with a completion percentage of 66.7% – A percentage that led the league among qualifying quarterbacks. To quote NFL Network, “Carr targeted open receivers often, doing so at a rate of 56.9 percent. No other quarterback on this list was even close.”
Carr had a league-leading completion percentage on third-down, simply because he was finding the open man more often that any other quarterback.
In 2020, Carr was once again in the top 10, coming in at 9. His completion percentage was 53.5% on third-down; Noticeably higher than Aaron Rodgers’ 47.2%. NFL Network notes Carr’s dominance on quick throws, earning a passer rating of 111.6 in throws under 2.5 seconds from the snap.
For 2021, we take it back to an earlier comment, in which I stated Carr completed 50% of his pass attempts 20-yards or more downfield. There’s consistency for the Raiders’ franchise quarterback here, too, which only helps Davante Adams.
In saying all of this, I need to fall back on a sentiment made in my superlative predictions: There is a lot of sugar to be shared in Las Vegas. With Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller forcing targets of their own, we can expect Adams’ unrealistic numbers over the last two seasons to see a decline. That is in no way to be confused with a drop in efficiency from the 29-year-old wideout.
The above in itself is yet another reason there will be no efficiency drop, as Adams is now surrounded by more superior talent, who demands attention from opposing defenses. However, I’ll keep this at a Carr and Rodgers comparison more than anything else.
After an impressive off-season, the Las Vegas Raiders find themselves with advantages over the rest of the AFC West. Are they enough to win the division?
There is no denying the Hall Of Fame lock in Green Bay is the greater quarterback of the two men, but Carr is still a top-10 quarterback who excels in the same categories Rodgers does. In the end, there’s no real reason to believe Adams will perform worse with Carr. Rodgers is indeed a Ferrari, but Carr is an Aston Martin.