“The first day I moved here, Tom Brady was on the front cover of the newspaper … it just adds a little fuel to the fire when you can still be here and accomplish things that mean so much to you.” -Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr
The Raiders are benefiting from Derek Carr’s production
Those words quarterback Derek Carr spoke after the Las Vegas Raiders beat the New Orleans Saints in Week 2. We all know how much the teams mean to the veteran signal-caller. He made sure to take the first snap at Allegiant Stadium, and he has spoken many times about his love for being a Raider.
How much does Carr sincerely love the Silver and Black? He doesn’t care fans booed him off the field in his final game in Oakland. He dealt with rumors all offseason, including many that revolved around Brady. On Sunday, he gets a chance to silence his doubters.
Carr has endured some struggles over the last few years. However, he’s been impressive this year and has the highest completion percentage of his career, 73.1. He has thrown for 1,442 yards and has scored 11 touchdowns and has thrown just one interception.
Moreover, he earned the first win of his career at Arrowhead Stadium. Carr now has the Raiders at a winning record through one of their toughest set of games in recent memory. He can take it one step further with a win on Sunday, but this will be his toughest task yet.
The Raiders have been dealing with some COVID-19 complications
On Wednesday, there were reports that Trent Brown had some complications with COVID, and on Thursday morning this bombshell was dropped:
Can confirm that @Raiders will be without entire starting offensive line and safety Johnathan Abram for the second consecutive day as a result of COVID-19 contact tracing protocols relating to Trent Brown situation. Story coming soon.
— Vincent Bonsignore (@VinnyBonsignore) October 22, 2020
This is a nightmare situation for any quarterback, but Carr has understood this problem too well recently. Brown and Richie Incognito have missed significant time so far this season. As a result of that, opposing teams have sacked the Raiders quarterback the sixth-most times of any quarterback this season. Now, he could be facing the prospect of missing center Rodney Hudson as well.
Carr and Brady
As for the ‘Bucs’, they’re rolling and coming off a statement win. ‘Brady versus Rodgers’ was supposed to be one of the best quarterback matchups of the year, but Brady, with help from his defense, shut that conversation down quickly. Tampa Bay trounced the Packers 38-10 while rattling off a whopping 38 unanswered points.
The most intimidating part of that win had nothing to do with Brady, though. Rodgers entered as one of the hottest quarterbacks in all of football. Nevertheless, the Buccaneers limited him to just 160 yards and two interceptions with one returned for a touchdown. Tampa Bay dominated in every aspect of the game.
As for Carr and Brady, the argument can certainly be made that the former has been more impressive in 2020. Carr tops Brady in completion percentage (73.1 to 64.1), has a better touchdown-interception ratio and his 115.9 quarterback rating is much higher than Brady’s 97.8. One can make the argument Carr is more valuable to his team as well, considering the impressive wins the Raiders have this season and the strength of Tampa Bay’s defense.
What this game means for Carr
A win in Week 7 would undoubtedly be the most impressive of Carr’s career. With a victory, he’ll silence the doubters who wanted Brady in Vegas last offseason. The Raiders would be 4-2, with wins over the Saints, Chiefs, and Buccaneers. It doesn’t get much more impressive than that. You can bet Carr is taking this game personally.
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Top Photo: Las Vegas Raiders official YouTube channel