Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is 2-10 against the Kansas City Chiefs in his career, has never won at Arrowhead Stadium and holds a record of 0-7 in games under 45 degrees. It’s fair to say he’s not a fan of cold weather.
Derek Carr at Arrowhead vs. Chiefs:
2014: 27/56 for 222 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
2015: 21/33 for 194 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
2016: 17/41 for 117 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
2017: 24/41 for 211 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT
2018: 24/33 for 185 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT
2019: 12/21 for 152 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT
— Matt Verderame (@MattVerderame) December 1, 2019
To be fair, after CBS pulled the plug on the game and switched to the Chargers and Broncos game, Carr did in fact throw a touchdown pass to Derek Carrier.
Carr is Oakland’s franchise leading passer with 2018 completions, 3,167 attempts, and 21,582 yards and even though the signal-caller has thrown for 138 touchdowns in just 90 games, the problem is that it’s not translating to wins. With a 38-52 record, Carr’s numbers have a particularly empty feeling and in these past six years, we’ve heard every conceivable reason why it’s not his fault.
Six Years of Parking Passes
Through the coaching staffs of Dennis Allen, Tony Sparano, Jack Del Rio and Jon Gruden, Carr has operated under a revolving door of offensive coordinators Bill Musgrave, Greg Olson (twice), and Mike Tice.
He has to learn a new system every year, he has no weapons, he has no line, receivers aren’t getting open. To be clear, football is a team game, but the quarterback and the center are the only two people who touch the ball on every play. Rodney Hudson is regarded as one of the best centers in the league, Carr on the other hand, plays well against bad teams and stinks it up against smart defenders who have learned his tendencies.
Tyrann Mathieu: "The biggest thing is we knew that when (Carr) did take shots downfield, we understood it pre-snap by the formation, & it put us in position to make a play… TEs, RBs, check-downs, that’s his game. We were able to capitalize when he did try to throw it downfield”
— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) December 2, 2019
Continuing with the fairness, not all of that is on Carr. Personnel groupings and formations are a big part of a defenses ability to decipher what is coming at them. No variations in play calling and tendencies is on whoever is calling the plays. However, one thing is for certain: Carr is a pre-snap quarterback. If you show him a look, and then disguise what you are doing, he will predetermine where the football is going.
Performance Recalls on Carr
Carr doesn’t go through his progressions once he reads pressure and yes, I’m aware he has no time and has to go to the hot route. He has also developed a lazy habit of staring down receivers. Where this hurts him and the offense is when what he sees isn’t what he’s getting. Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has his defensive backs do a similar thing to what Wade Phillips did in Denver and it has given Carr fits.
Related: Is Carr a “lemon”?
When defenders communicate well and pass off receivers to their teammates, it’s an absolute killer, especially to a guy who sees man coverage and throws a pick into a soft-shoe zone cover 3. When Carr threw the pick six after he audibled the route of his receiver, he should have noticed the defensive backs switching their coverage accordingly. Especially communication between the inside and outside leverage defenders on the route he intended to throw to.
Something Isn’t Right Here
Josh Jacobs, an offensive rookie of the year candidate, is doing jumping jacks trying to get Carr’s attention. Meanwhile, Foster Moreau is just kinda floating through the play for some reason.
If a running back and a tight end are supposed to be a quarterback’s best friend then we should believe Carr is golden. Jacobs is at 1,061 yards in the season and Waller is the third ranked tight end in the league. The aforementioned Moreau has been a breath of fresh air and another big target for Carr, but both Moreau and Jacobs are showing visible signs of frustration with Carr.
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Receivers quitting on routes seems to be a thing with Carr and the only reasonable explanation is they simply don’t expect him to throw them the ball… Or look their way at all. Zay Jones was targeted three times and had two passes for 14 yards. He’s caught 11 passes for 88 yards in five games since being traded to the Raiders. Tyrell Williams saw four targets and caught one of them for nine yards.
It’s Time to Trade Up
At some point enough is enough, what Raider Nation is swiftly coming to is a crossroads. Carr’s play has been both a rallying point and a fork in the road this season. Those who want to continue to make excuses around Carr, they are called “Stans.” Those who choose to address the reality of what it is, they are being told they aren’t “real” fans.
Six years have come and will be gone. One winning record, one playoff appearance and six years of it being someone else’s fault. This is usually the time where experts say a change of scenery is needed. https://t.co/rxWmOYL8eB
— Phil Robinson (@PhilRobinsonIII) December 2, 2019
As a person, Carr is a good man. Never let it be said that he isn’t and there should be no question about that at all. He knows what’s important in his life and he aims to be true to it. Being a football player seems to be sliding down his list faster and faster.
Carr knows he has critics: 'I really don't care what anyone has to say.' pic.twitter.com/DVdtBdsssh
— Scott Bair (@ScottBairNFL) November 28, 2019
He’s mentioned his plans for retirement, going home to be a family man, a desire to devote his life to the clergy and his lord and savior. Admirable it really is, but for a team in the midst of a rebuild as well as relocating to Las Vegas, that’s hardly good news. This team has shown it isn’t as far away as we originally thought.
True number one receivers don’t want to play with Carr. A true number one is something the Raiders have been desperately searching for since the retirement of Touchdown Tim Brown. The offensive line is solid, the run game is top 5, there are two young studs at tight end. Yet the team has scored 12 points in it’s last two games (in the cold) and they are only a .500 club.
Under Carr, the most prolific passer in club history, the Raiders are a .422 club. The numbers don’t lie, it’s time for a change.