The Las Vegas Raiders are rolling on all cylinders right now and a lot of the credit goes to their offense and quarterback Derek Carr.
As the NFL moves onto Week 3, the Silver and Black’s offense is looking like a fine-tuned machine in the early going. In head coach Jon Gruden’s third season, he has Carr playing like an early MVP candidate. While it helps to have a star running back in Josh Jacobs and a monstrous offensive line, Carr deserves credit. One of the biggest reasons for the offense playing at such a high level is his pass distribution.
By looking at Carr’s passes in the first two weeks, we can clearly see a pattern developing. In Week 1, he threw to nine different receivers and in Week 2, 11 players saw targets. Don’t look now but Carr is starting to resemble the quarterback he beat on Monday night, Drew Brees. As all fans know, the New Orleans signal-caller made his career on getting everyone involved in the Saints offense.
Which Raiders Are Benefiting From This Offense?
At first glance, the obvious candidate would be tight end Darren Waller, who is off to a great start. He’s been targeted a total of 24 times by Carr, totaling 148 receiving yards in the process. Surprisingly, the other player to be benefiting from Carr’s pass distribution is Jacobs. After being a non-factor in the passing game last year, Carr has targeted his running back nine times.
The third most targeted Raiders receiver is rookie Henry Ruggs III with a total of eight looks from Carr. His numbers so far aren’t eye-popping with only four receptions and 59 receiving yards. However, that doesn’t tell the whole story, Ruggs’ speed and the threat he presents is what’s opening the field allowing for Carr to distribute the ball all over the place. The Alabama standout is a rookie so it will take time to develop chemistry with Carr but once this happens, the offense will then truly be scary.
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*Top Photo: Rick Scuteri/Associated Press