Raiders

QB Derek Carr Knows Raiders Need To Improve Red Zone Efficiency

Quarterback Derek Carr is entering his seventh year with the Las Vegas Raiders. It seems like forever since the Raiders drafted him out of Fresno State in 2014. Although Carr has progressed in many areas as a signal-caller in the NFL, he’s aware he and the team have to do a better job at scoring touchdowns.

Derek Carr has been the best quarterback from the 2014 NFL Draft

Carr is without a doubt the best quarterback of 2014’s draft class. Johnny Manziel accepted his football career is over while Blake Bortles can’t find a job. Those two were picked ahead of Carr just like Teddy Bridgewater, who is currently employed by the Carolina Panthers and coincidentally, will play against the Raiders in the season opener. Although Bridgwater played well for the New Orleans Saints once Drew Brees went down last season, he has been inconsistent. Moreover, the injury bug bothered him for a while and limited his growth for a couple of seasons.

Looking at all the options the Raiders had that year, they must be pleased they chose Carr over all the other quarterbacks. The Fresno State product has had ups and downs in his career. He hasn’t had the best supporting cast, but he has worked with what he has had. In 2019, he threw for more than 4,000 yards, just eight interceptions, and a 70.4 completion rate. He’s only the second quarterback in NFL history to achieve that milestone. Nevertheless, there’s one area he needs to improve in.

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Carr knows the Raiders have to improve in one area

As efficient as Carr was in 2019, the Raiders offense only scored 21 passing touchdowns, which ranked 19th in the NFL. The Raiders were 11th in total yards, but only 24th in points scored. That total must go up if the Raiders want to go back to the postseason. In his latest press conference, Carr said the team needs to play better in third downs and score touchdowns rather than field goals.

I think that for us to be better, we have to be even better in third down. We have to stay on the field more. We’ve got to be able to punch the ball in when we get in the red zone, there’s gotta be a killer instinct for we’re not leaving without touchdowns and especially, we can’t leave the redzone with no points. Field goals are good at times, but we need to finish in the low red, especially, there’s a glaring weakness that we’ve tried hard in training camp to work on. 

The ten best NFL quarterback in 2019 threw for at least 26 touchdowns. With a new wide receiver group and the same offensive line, there’s no reason to think Carr can score as many or even more. He threw for 32 in 2015 so we know he’s capable of doing it. This is his third year with head coach Jon Gruden. It’s the first time in his career he’s had the same offensive coordinator, in this case, Greg Olson. That in conjunction with the array of weapons he has should help him get to the 30 touchdown threshold.

The Raiders have laid their trust in Carr, he has the tools and the weapons to thrive. He will have his first shot at proving the Raiders made the right decision when they face the Panthers this upcoming Sunday.

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Top Photo: Las Vegas Raiders official YouTube channel

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