The Las Vegas Raiders are set to take on the Arizona Cardinals this Sunday, and in that matchup, Derek Carr will be facing tons of blitzing. It’s something that he’s fully aware of and isn’t overlooking despite the fact that the Cardinals were thoroughly outclassed by the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Cardinals tried going the route that so many have failed at this past weekend; they blitzed Patrick Mahomes. Historically speaking, that strategy has never worked against the Chiefs’ signal-caller. The Cardinals brought the heat on over half of Mahomes’ passing attempts. In spite of that pressure, he completed 30 passes for 360 yards and five touchdowns. What does that mean for Carr? Well, No. 4 stated that he wants to see what the Cards did on Sunday. More importantly, the blitzes and the players who took part. Coming off a loss, Carr remains focused on the film. He’s not concerned with the stats, just the big picture.
“I never put too much into stats or into ultimately the score…”
“I want to see the ‘why’ and I want to see the scheme, I want to see the blitzes, the coverages, and the players. I’ve been on a team with a losing record, but we knew we could beat certain teams when we turned the film on. And we’d go out there and we’d beat them, and people would say, ‘Oh my gosh, how did you do it?’ Well, when you turn the film on, we saw it based on what we had. So, I never get too caught up in that stuff. They’re a really good football team, they caused a lot of turnovers last year stripping the ball on running backs, receivers, quarterbacks running, and all that kind of stuff. They’re really good at that [and] they’re really good at creating negative plays.”
The Cardinals gave up a ton of touchdowns last year, especially through the air (30 total). At the same time, Carr is right; they’re good at causing havoc. They recorded impressive numbers in terms of turnovers. For example, they were ranked in the top 15 for forced fumbles with 21 (1st), 15 fumble recoveries (2nd), and 13 interceptions (15th). As far as sacks go, they nailed opposing quarterbacks a total of 40 times, which was 14th in the NFL.
The Cardinals have playmakers that will give Derek Carr trouble on Sunday
Interestingly enough, as most Raiders fans know, newcomer Chandler Jones once formed part of this dangerous Cardinals defense. As far as who he’s facing on Sunday, Carr is aware of the playmakers that roam that unit. Carr pointed out the Cardinals’ two-time All-Pro and their star linebacker, two special talents in particular.
“Budda Baker is one of the best players in all of football. Isaiah Simmons can do everything. I’ve literally seen him line up everywhere except maybe nose tackle, and I’m sure he’s done that too, I’ll get to that. But he’s literally done everything. I mean, they’ve got guys everywhere, they’re fast, they can run, they play physical. And so, anytime they have those kinds of traits, and they can create those kinds of problems, you better be on it when you play them on Sunday.”
Against the Chiefs, Baker and Simmons posted 16 total tackles between the two of them. However, zero sacks and zero tackles for a loss. This is just one of the many facts that show that the blitz was neutralized. Josh McDaniels will certainly have his work cut out for him. Right now, the Raiders’ offensive line continues to have question marks. The left side (Kolton Miller and John Simpson) struggled mightily, while the center position could be in trouble with Andre James’ injury.
Derek Carr will be tested again. The question is, will he be overaggressive again in the face of a consistent blitz or can the offense (players not named Davante Adams) take advantage of the one-on-one matchups in this one?
*Top Photo: Raiders Official YouTube Channel