Despite criticism, Derek Carr numbers still among league leaders

The Raiders are 2-2, but it already feels like there have been enough negative storylines around the team to satisfy a full season.

One of the more baseless narratives this year is the idea that Derek Carr has been the problem with the Raider offense through four games. It can be tiresome waiting for Jon Gruden’s offense to take the next step, but the numbers say Carr has hardly been the issue.

Despite frustrating losses to Kansas City and Minnesota, Carr is still the no. 10 rated quarterback in the league, according to Pro Football Focus data, and right now has same quarterback rating (96.7) as he did in 2016 – the year he finished third in the league MVP vote. Factor in that two of Carr’s three interceptions were good throws (Williams didn’t hear an audible, Grant was taken out by a DB) and Carr would be among the league leaders in terms of quarterback rating without those interceptions.

Carr’s completion percentage (72.1%) is still third-best in the league and as it has been pointed out, Jon Gruden likes his quarterbacks to be game managers – not gunslingers. Gruden has talked about the importance of yards after catch and that’s because he understands that his offense is predicated on short and intermediate throws. Which is one of the reasons why Antonio Brown could have been a perfect fit for Gruden – mental health issues aside, of course.

The knocks on Carr for the past two years have mostly revolved around his presence in the pocket and perceived unwillingness to throw downfield (yards per attempt). Neither are completely unfounded, but both have been harped on far too often. For all the conversation about Derek’s lack of deep throws, you would think there would be more examples of receivers he has missed downfield. But there haven’t been many. Derek has looked more comfortable in the pocket this year, but the fact that Gruden’s offense isn’t designed to consistently stretch the defense means Carr’s yards-per-attempt isn’t going to explode anytime soon.

Certainly Derek has made mistakes through the first four games of the season, but what is important is whether or not the offense continues to show improvement, especially understanding how many playmakers are new to Gruden’s offense. This Sunday will come as the toughest test of the year for the Raider offense, as the Bears are coming off one of the most dominant defensive efforts from any team this season. Somehow, the Gruden and the gang were heavier underdogs last week in Indianapolis (+7) than they are this week against Chicago (+4.5).

Maybe Vegas knows something we don’t know?

twitter: @raidersbeat



14 thoughts on “Despite criticism, Derek Carr numbers still among league leaders

  1. The first time I looked at our schedule, I wondered out loud, who makes up these schedules and who ever they are, they must hate the Raiders. But after thinking about it, I realized that as brutal as this schedule is, if it doesn’t kill us, it will make us stronger. Unlike the Pats who have a cake-walk schedule almost every year, and this year the cowboys ran over the 1st 3 teams they played and lost Sunday to the 1st real competition they played all year, and they (Saints) were missing their all-pro QB. If we can continue to stay in games and win outright those we aren’t expected to win, lookout NFL, the Raiderzzzzz are coming…….

    1. Rory I feel the same way about it, everyone is hating on DC. He a very good numbers last year even having been sacked a million times lol. The teams we lost to are some of the best year in and year out I get excited watching our new defence come together. With the chiefs we had a bad quarter but three dominant, Patrick mahomes is a beast but we adjusted and held them at bay from scoring any more after the second quarter. Before the season started analytics predicted that we would lose the first four games now we’re two and two I’m liking that we could keep it going we’re not out of this yet its still early. Tire Raider fans will see this as truth

  2. Vegas knows Chase Daniel is going to start for the Bears. I don’t think Daniel has ever thrown for 200 yards in an NFL game. The Bears are already a low scoring team with Trubisky. A couple of lucky plays for the Raiders land TDs and a FG might win the game 17 -10.

  3. Feel comfortable and proud about our team having to travel so much this year. Silver and Black is better known throughout the world and the NFL knows that. This is the reason for the added exposure

  4. I love this offense, without A.B. but man what cud have been. I mean this offense without him can be **** near great. If A.B. weren’t taking women’s hormones pills we wud be the nastiest offense n NFL. If if we’re a fifth we’d both be drunk.

  5. I have said for years Derek Carr is the best player the Raiders have ever had. I don’t think I’ve ever met a QB who loves and stands up for his team like Carr does. He’s one of the best hands down. I’m so sick of these Brady,Rodger,old man lovers over here I seriously can not wait for team to feel pain like we have in the past. Let’s go baby it’s Raider Nation we out here making moves before the move. Let’s bring one home for Oakland before we leave boys! LETS GO RAIDER NATIONNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!

  6. The numbers don’t lie. While Derek may not be perfect, he’s way better than most! I ve been a raider fan for fifty years. I ve seen a lot of QB’s come and go. Derek is good for this team. He will only get better. Thanks for the positive article.

  7. Personal QB numbers mean nothing without the wins to back it up. If we finish 8-8 or worse we’ll be drafting a QB in the first round of the next draft. That doesn’t mean Carr is gone but I can totally see a transition senario like KC did with Alex Smith and Mahomes

  8. Carr is doing fine! The raiders have a lot of talent, yet forget individuality, let’s hope they get back to the well oiled machine they were week one! #lovethemraiders

  9. Raiders need more linebackers and a few safeties to maintain their defensive edge to create turnovers and TD scores.
    Knock down their division rivals and NFC North opponents. Go Raiders!!

  10. Thank you for writing this. I’ve always been a fan of the Carr brothers. So many “fans” complaining and asking for his head. Apparently they don’t remember the 18 failed experiments at QB the Raiders have had over the past 35 yrs, Gannon the exception.

    Finding a great one is hard and we finally have a great one. He excels at 3 WR sets and throwing 20+ Yds downfield. The Mad Bomber and Jeff George are the only ones in his stratosphere in making throwing deep look effortless.

Comments are closed.