Derek Carr

Why the Raiders Will Stick with Derek Carr in Las Vegas

The biggest rivalry in sports is Derek Carr haters versus Derek Carr lovers and just like pretty much any debate, there are two sides to each coin.

This side points to heads, with Carr moving into his house right next to Jon Gruden’s in Vegas. The two will probably be neighbors with each other, drawing up plans to make a splash as the team moves from the Bay to Sin City. As much as people want to talk, Carr and Gruden are a perfect head coach-quarterback pairing and will be together for a long time.

Like it or Not, the Raiders Will Stick with Derek Carr in Las Vegas

What Else is Really Out There?

The most obvious reason is that a franchise quarterback is tough to come by. Teams like the Bears have traded the entire farm to move up for the player they think will potentially be the franchise savior; and many times they end up with Mitchell Trubisky.

This isn’t to say the Raiders shouldn’t bring in some competition at quarterback. After all, Dak Prescott was a fourth round pick, and Russell Wilson was taken in the third. Neither were expected to become starters, at least not immediately.

However, completely cutting ties with Carr makes zero sense. Relying on a rookie to run the offense is not a good idea either. And there are not a lot of options at veterans that sound any better than Carr. Philip Rivers and Eli Manning might be available, but they didn’t show much in 2019 other than being washed up.

Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota could be young options. Neither are appetizing. Winston might rack up bigger stats than Carr, but Gruden would have fits at how many interceptions he throws. Mariota can’t stay healthy to save his life. In fact, he has never started 16 games in his career. Plus, is his ceiling really any higher than Carr’s?

Derek Carr Has Shown He Can Win

Many people think that Carr reached his ceiling in 2016 and will never get back to that. But even if that year is his ceiling, it isn’t half bad. He led the Raiders to 12 wins behind a defense that ranked in the bottom six in terms of total yards allowed. Fans are still left wondering “what if” that season after Carr – and the Raiders – season was cut short due to a broken leg.

There is no denying that Carr hasn’t been the same player since then. In 2017, he suffered a transverse process fracture in his back early in the season, but only missed one game. However, since then he has seemed skittish in the pocket, throwing the ball away at the slightest bit of pressure.

Things seemed to get worse in 2018. Carr was sacked a career high 52 times and was one of the worst quarterbacks in the league when under duress. However, the signal-caller made it a point to improve this during the offseason. The eye test proves this, as he has moved around and extended plays more often than the previous two seasons. In fact, at one point in 2019, he was actually the top quarterback in the league under pressure:

Overall, despite the team falling short of a winning season, Derek Carr was a key reason the team was even thinking of the postseason. He orchestrated a few more of his signature comebacks, sometimes while running with patchwork guys at wide receiver, and a defense that basically turned over its entire secondary and linebacking corps between the beginning and end of the year.

Knowing Gruden’s Offense is Complicated

Looking at Gruden’s history, there isn’t a lot that screams “rookie quarterback.” This is a guy who made journeyman Rich Gannon famous and won a Super Bowl with Brad Johnson. Gannon, and other quarterbacks who have worked with him, such as Bruce Gradkowski readily talk about how complicated the verbiage is for Gruden’s playbook. Gannon also notes how the coach’s strong personality can make him better himself and a rookie might be broken by that coaching style.

Many people bemoan Carr as a dink-and-dunk quarterback, unwilling to let it fly sometimes. But that’s Gruden’s MO, meaning he might be just what Gruden wants. In fact, ole Chucky was on record after a loss to the Jaguars this year saying he thought Carr should have checked the ball down more. Rumors are that one reason Al Davis traded Gruden to the Buccaneers was that he wanted a more vertical passing attack.

With Carr always operating as an efficient passer, it should be no surprise that he is putting up the best numbers of his career paired with Chucky. The past two years have seen him go over 4,000 yards passing for the first time ever. In 2018 he had his best-ever completion percentage, 68.9, which he then further improved on to 70.4 in 2019. He’s also thrown ten or fewer interceptions both years with Gruden.

And here is a fun fact – if Carr does indeed stay with the Silver and Black, it will be the first time in his career that he has been in the same offense for three years. Haters will hate, but all signs point to Carr being back in black for the Raiders in 2020.

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31 thoughts on “Why the Raiders Will Stick with Derek Carr in Las Vegas”

  1. Just cuz there’s no other quarterback out there doesn’t mean carrs the answer hes not worth money paid or new contract raiders can suck with any quarterback

  2. Article is right on point. Carr is a great quarterback with poor or inexperienced receivers. Give him some receivers and 2016 will reappear. Despite this year’s receiving core and all their dropped passes, Carr is only 1 of 3 qb’s over 70% completion %, 1 of 8 qb’s 100+ qb rating, over 2:1 TD to Int ratio. When was the last time the Raiders had this. NEVER!!! Giving this up would be suicide for the Raiders. Get the man some receivers and we go to the playoffs!! Haters wise up or go way!!

  3. Frank J Contreras

    ABSOLUTELY,POSITIVELY correct!WHY is this so hard for fans to see?Carr’s not even as good as he’s gonna be but the days coming, your gonna say”and to think I didn’t like this guy” GO RAIDERS

  4. Richard Ramsawh

    Stop writing about football. Funny how you fail to mention the fact that we were second in the league in turnovers in 2016. “Who else us out there” is the weakest excuse possible.

  5. I hope we do bring back Carr, all these haters are idiots! Carr has done a good job over the past 2 years. His first season in Grudens offense he basically had an expansion team around him. This past season he still didn’t have weapons at wr. Look at all the qbs whose numbers have dropped when their reviving core went down, Brady, Rodgers, wentz, Dak I can go on and on. We have a good qb we just need to continue to put the right personal around him.

  6. That’s right carr is will fight to the end more than any other QB we are luck to have some one who is a raider fan and get to play for the raiders good s*** glad to hear carr is tay8ng

  7. Take that BUM Carr to Vegas, be ready to lose HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS more fans. “Proven he can win” hahahaha!!!! Because freak break out seasons NEVER happen do they? Dumb@$$

  8. I had to exit, and come back in to make sure I read what I thought I read the first time. Author, you’re a friggin idiot.

  9. Anyone who thinks the Raiders will be rid of Carr before the 2020 season is nuts. He’s not great, but he ain’t bad either. He’s done well despite having no receiver capable of stretching the field. The team will be better in Los Vegas. I’m confident they will draft a good receiver

  10. Carr will play all true home games in a dome. He plays poorly in bad weather, but that was on others as well. Gruden said they need to practice in bad weather to prepare.

  11. Carr is TRASH just like this article!!! All his yards came from YAC’s and garbage time. Please get off his Nutts cuz he ain’t the answer. Carrbage 100%

  12. I read a article yesterday saying Brady to the raiders I just don’t know how that would play out with the history with the raiders and Brady 2001 playoffs raiders won that game f*** Brady

  13. The bottom line is that Carr has proven his inability to scan the field. He rarely, if ever goes through his progressions past the first/second options. He locks in on his first option and then check down/throw away/crumble sack. He also only throws the ball to wide open receivers. His inability to throw receivers open is well known. He is accurate. But he is no Rich Gannon. And Gannon wasn’t much outside of a genius football IQ guy. Rarely does Carr check into plays that are successful. Gannon constantly checked into the correct play. Tom Brady is a free agent. Perfect fit for Grudens offense. Non mobile, yes. But genius IQ and accurate. How fitting would it be for the Raiders to win the superbowl with Brady? Tuck Rule vindication at it’s most dramatic possibility.

  14. Dario Rodriguez

    I don’t think Carr will ever be great. But I agree that he should stay at least one more year. But we need to draft another QB so that after he sux 1 more year, we can have some one who is already familiar with the offense. I have never been a fan of Carr. I feel like he plays scared and is all talk. I hope he proves me wrong in Vegas. GO RAIDERS!!

  15. I’d be pissed if Raiders don’t give Carr one more year at least.
    Draft two WRs in the first round, ideally Jerry Judy and Henry Riggs III. get Cory Liddleton and Kendell Fuller in free agency. Bring in a power back to take some of the hard runs off Jacobs. Add more depth elsewhere.
    Then see what Carr can do with a good o-line, run game and receiver depth, with what hopefully will be a much improved D.

    He doesn’t get any better with that, then move on.
    Until then, DC is my QB!

  16. Derek all we need is for you to start running the ball to play is not their run for 2/3 yards don’t be afraid of the injury anymore you need to run the ball and please get your accuracy together the players are out their for you to throw to but your biggest problem is worried about getting hurt again it’s not about that win for the team take one for the team Derek bring them bring them to Las Vegas lifelong resident and I want to see a winning team because the raiders Rock. And you and Chuckie being neighbors that’s awesomehe’s awesome so let’s put on a sauce in this together lifelong raider fan my dreams come true. And go get him some receivers. can’t wait to welcome you to the Las Vegas God bless and you guys have a great evening.

  17. Joshua S Talltree

    It’s amazing how you can write an article full of excellent points and the negative people come in (who don’t understand football, might I add) and still talk about Carr. He’s one of the few bright spots on the offense and yet they blame all the problems on him. I’m with you, give him some more weapons and he’ll carve it up even more so. Any to you Carr haters, learn football so you can actually bring a valid point to the table, next!

  18. Keep Carr, after the AB debacle he had no number 1 receiver and the last half of season his number 2 played with a foot injury. Renfrow came on strong snd will be really exciting to watch with a true number one and everyone healthy. Playoffs next year.

  19. Glad to see someone (in the comments though) talking about YAC. Compare Carr’s total passing yards in YAC to any other leading QB in the league and then accept the fact that he has to be replaced. He is not the answer and he is proving it each season.

  20. I hear the same excuses every year. Carr has only flashed 2016 form at times. That’s an outlier season at this point. Bring in his replacement. Still a ton if fanboys going into year SEVEN. It’s working out great!

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