The Oakland Raiders will enter the 2019 NFL season with quarterback Derek Carr at the helm. That’s a good thing because he led the league in one key stat in 2018.
Before the 2019 NFL Draft, there were rumors about Derek Carr not being the franchise quarterback the Raiders wanted. After the draft came and went, it’s now clear Carr is head coach Jon Gruden’s choice to lead the team.
Oakland could have traded for veteran passers such as Nick Foles or rookies Kyler Murray or Dwayne Haskins, but Oakland stayed put and is entrusting Carr with the keys to lead the franchise back to the playoffs. Whether he is capable of pulling it off or not is one thing but there is one key stat that gives him an advantage over his peers.
According to Pro Football Focus, Carr was the most accurate deep passer in the NFL. His 52.3% accuracy rate in passes that travel 20+ yards ranked first in the league. His ranking wasn’t an anomaly either as he has two of he top three ratings since 2016. Not bad for a quarterback that had to withstand 51 sacks last year and will go into the 2019 season with upgraded protection (but not a better offensive line coach).
Oakland also selected running back Josh Jacobs with the 24th overall pick to make an asset out of the running game. Having a loaded box focused on the Raiders ground attack more often will open their aerial game and in turn, let Carr put that deep accuracy to good use.
Furthermore, Oakland now has wide receivers that can take advantage of Carr’s touch in long passes. Led by super star Antonio Brown, the Raiders wide receiver corps can create separation and stretch the field.
Not long ago, it was said Carr was a candidate for MVP honors. He has the chance to go back to those talks and has the deep accuracy to do so.