The Las Vegas Raiders haven’t won many games with quarterback Derek Carr at the helm. Nevertheless, the veteran signal-caller shouldn’t shoulder all the blame. After all, he shares one particular stat with a potential Hall of Fame player.
Since the Raiders drafted Carr in 2014, they’ve had some bright moments along with plenty of bad ones. The fact they had a revolving door at offensive coordinator for many years didn’t help matters. Finally, Carr had the same coach in back-to-back seasons, Greg Olson. That continuity, even if it’s slight, helped the veteran quarterback achieve one of his better statical seasons in his six-year career.
In 2019, Carr threw for 4,054 yards, 21 touchdowns, and eight interceptions with a 70.4 competition rate. Those were some of the best he’s produced. In fact, he was the second signal-caller ever to throw for more than 4,000 yards, and less than 10 interceptions to go with a 70.0+ completion rate. Before him, only New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees had achieved that feat in NFL history.
What Does It Mean?
By no means is Carr as good as Brees. The Saints quarterback hasn’t had a down year in his tenure in New Orleans. Meanwhile, Carr had his worst touchdown output as a pro and led the Raiders to a 4-12 record in 2018. That year, Carr threw for 4,049 yards, 19 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions with a 68.9 completion percentage while Brees had 3,992 yards, 32 touchdowns, and five interceptions with a 74.4 completion percentage.
Moreover, Brees has the highest completion percentage in a season in NFL history, . Not just that, he has the record for the second and third most. On the other hand, Carr had only surpassed the 70.0 mark once in his career and has thrown for more than 4,000 yards in a season just twice. Brees passed for more than 5,000 yards five times and got close to it twice more.
One crucial thing to point out is that Carr’s 2019 completion percentage was second in the league only behind Brees. Also, his completions were not just meaningless dump-offs but rather key completions. Now, the veteran has to score more touchdowns, an area he can definitely improve in. He will have Olson for the third straight year, which should help go a long way towards achieving even better numbers.
If Carr can keep his completion percentage and passing yards around the same while throwing more touchdowns, the Raiders can make some noise in the 2020 season.
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Top Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
*All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference