Ever since the Las Vegas Raiders drafted him in the second round of the 2014 NFL draft, Derek Carr has faced scrutiny from fans and media.
In the modern NFL, having “the man” at quarterback has become essential to being competitive. The Raiders have had some misses with the likes of JaMarcus Russell, Jason Campbell, Carson Palmer, and Terrelle Pryor, but ‘DC4’ is different.
After a good a solid 2015 and an MVP-type season in 2016, Carr went through a bit of a rough patch. The Raiders were bad, his numbers weren’t great, and people began to worry he was no more than a check-down artist. However, in 2020, he’s been absolutely brilliant and has solidified himself as the rightful franchise quarterback of the Las Vegas Raiders.
Derek Carr has solidified himself as the man in Las Vegas
Of course, there are those who will say Carr has always been the man for the Raiders. Their faith never wavered, and like a bus outside of Arrowhead stadium, they are taking their victory lap now. There are also those that begged for Marcus Mariota and even Nathan Peterman to take over for Carr… they’re a little quieter now.
I’ve always found myself somewhere in the middle, defending Carr here, but also criticizing him here. However, one thing everyone has agreed on since the beginning is this. If Carr returned to 2016 form, his critics would hop on the bandwagon. Well… there’s plenty of hopping going on.
Carr is on pace for 3,890 yards, 30 touchdowns, and only five interceptions. He’s also about 14 rushing yards away from reaching his season-high on the ground. He’s in full control of this offense, and short of a couple of fumbles, his play this year has been essentially flawless.
He has three picks in four games, with one being a dropped pass from Nelson Agholor, and another being a last-ditch Hail Mary. The Raiders are averaging almost 30 points a game, and much of that is due to ‘4’, as he and Jon Gruden share a point at this moment, and it’s cathartic to see Carr so confident in control of the offense.
The Raiders QB of the future has control of the offense in the present
Carr is coming up with the audibles, he’s extending plays with his legs, and he’s urging his head coach to be more aggressive. He is taking shots down the field and playing with ruthless aggression. Ever since Jon Gruden returned, there has been speculation that he would bring in his own quarterback, and that should be over now.
Carr’s contract runs until 2022, and re-signing him will be a priority. As long as Jon Gruden is the man in charge, Derek Carr should be the starting quarterback of the Raiders. Now that the Silver and Black have weapons, and he’s gotten the Kansas City monkey off his back, he’s the man.
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*Top Photo: Reed Hoffmann/Associated Press