There are many indicators to evaluate a quarterback’s performance. There’s one that has eluded Derek Carr: Winning at Arrowhead Stadium. He will have the opportunity to change the narrative in 2020.
Carr is one of the most polarizing players in recent Raiders history. He currently holds many team’s records but has folded in crucial moments. He grades fairly well when it comes to advanced statistics too, but winning divisional games has been difficult for the veteran signal-caller. More specifically, he hasn’t been able to beat the Chiefs in his career and has lost every single encounter he’s had at Arrowhead Stadium.
Derek Carr at Arrowhead vs. Chiefs:— Matt Verderame (@MattVerderame) December 1, 2019
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
Carr holds a 0-6 record at Arrowhead. Wins aren’t solely a quarterback stat. In fact, it’s a team statistics, but the quarterback has a big influence in the outcome of every game. Rex Grossman proved it back in the day when linebacker Brian Urlacher lead the Bears defense. In spite of creating turnovers and even touchdowns on special teams, Grossman held them back and barely got away with a victory in a performance that triggered the late Dennis Green’s “Crown them” rant.
On This Date: 13 years ago today, Dennis Green declared the Bears "are who we thought they were." pic.twitter.com/c1LUefUCZJ— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) October 16, 2019
More recently, 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo had the chance to put the game away during the last Super Bowl. Instead, he overthrew a pass intended for receiver Emmanuel Sanders.
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Jimmy G misses a wide-open Sanders for the go-ahead TD in the final 2 minutes.pic.twitter.com/cN5gjf19Gb— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) February 3, 2020
A good defense can bail a quarterback and a potent running game can wear an opposing team. However, good quarterbacks always lead their team to victory in clutch moments. Carr hasn’t been able to win in Kansas City regardless of his supporting cast. Even in his 2016 MVP season, he came short at both the Coliseum and Arrowhead.
One of the reasons Carr hasn’t been able to beat the Chiefs at Arrowhead is that his passer rating goes down in cold weather.
#Raiders have 2 potential cold-weather games with trips to Jets on Dec. 6, Broncos Jan. 3. Derek Carr ranks 48th out of 49 QBs (min 150 att) in passer rating in games played below 50 degrees since start of 2014. His 68.9 rating tops only DeShone Kizer's 63.9— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) May 7, 2020
Maybe Carr needs hand warmers or thermal underwear, but he clearly is affected by the elements. To his advantage, the 2020 schedule shows the Raiders will face the Chiefs in Week 5. At that moment of the year, temperatures won’t plunge the way they do in December. Carr will go to Arrowhead knowing he won’t have to worry about the weather as much as he would if he played in Kansas City later in the season.
Moreover, Carr will have a plethora of new weapons at his disposal and the Raiders upgraded their defense this during the offseason. Having a better supporting cast in addition to friendlier weather should help the quarterback get his first win at Arrowhead.
The AFC West and the Super Bowl will run through the Chiefs this upcoming season. Carr will get a shot to beat them. It will be a good test to see whether he and the Raiders are contenders or pretenders.
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