Coming into Week 4, the Las Vegas Raiders will be looking right down the barrel at the possibility of an 0-4 record. The team that stands in the way of their first win will be the Denver Broncos. Denver, in a way, has also been disappointing. Their offense has been disheartening as a whole, but at the end of the day, they still sport a winning record at 2-1. The two quarterbacks at the helm of these disappointing offenses? Derek Carr and Russell Wilson.
Underwhelming would be the word to describe the 2022 campaigns of both quarterbacks in this matchup. A new No. 1 receiver was supposed to mean new beginnings for Carr, but those beginnings have been far from impressive. Wilson has lacked in many areas this year as well, but he has done just enough to grab two wins for his team this season. So, how do these two stack up against each other?
Statistically Speaking, Derek Carr is Better… Somehow
Carr, so far this year is 73-of-120, good for a 60 percent completion. Additionally, he’s got 850 yards and six touchdown passes to go along with four interceptions. Carr just hasn’t been himself this year. He’s had some questionable TD/INT ratio statistics in his career, but something to notice is his completion rate. Yes, the season is still young, but that 60 percent number is the lowest since Carr’s rookie season, and the second lowest of any year in his career. Derek has struggled in many aspects, but that stat shows just how off he’s been.
As for Wilson, he’s somehow tallied a worse stat line. Wilson has completed 63 of his 106 pass attempts, which comes out to a 59 percent completion rate. Wilson has thrown for 743 yards and has just two touchdowns with one interception. His 83.2 passer rating is lower than Carr’s, which sits at 85.1. Wilson and the rest of the Broncos’ offense just haven’t done much of anything this year. A new head coach and a new quarterback is a lot, and it’s fair to give them some time to get things going. Still, at some point, Wilson is going to have to start playing better.
How About the Eye Test?
Perhaps the biggest issue that Carr has had this season has been connecting with Davante Adams. The two were excellent in Week 1 together, but in the two weeks since, combined, they haven’t matched the output from the first game. Carr received criticism after Week 1 for solely focusing on Adams, but it seems he’s done the exact opposite during the past two games.
— Sanjit T. (@Sanjit__T) September 28, 2022
Something to notice from these clips is where Derek is looking. In all three of these plays, Adams finds himself open at some point, but Carr just doesn’t look at him. The way Josh McDaniels calls plays signals the idea that Carr might know who he’s throwing to before the play begins, and when looking at the tape like this, it’s hard to ignore. McDaniels, Carr, and Adams have some work to do, and the decisions made by Carr on those plays have been a large part of the Raiders’ woes this season.
Wilson has had plenty of issues in Denver so far, but like Carr’s, they seem like issues that stem from an adjustment period. Flat-out, the timing between Wilson and his receivers is just bad.
Russell Wilson BADLY missed this throw to Jeudy ðŸ˜¬ pic.twitter.com/bevou47NSg
— Brian Y (@byysports) September 26, 2022
This clip is a good example. This is a simple out route that Jeudy is running, and Wilson badly misses him. We don’t know the play call, so this issue could be pinned on either Jerry Jeudy or Wilson, depending on what was said in the huddle. Still, the chemistry in the Broncos’ offense is clearly lacking. Most of Russell’s problems this season have been caused by this, which has messed up the offensive flow.
So, Which QB is Better?
Statistically, Carr has been better, although neither has impressed. This is like picking the lesser of two evils, except it’s two quarterbacks that are both playing far below their potential. Carr has a better completion percentage (barely), more yards, and more touchdowns. Still, Wilson has found a way to lead his offense on game-winning drives in the fourth quarter of each of the last two games, while Carr sits at 0-3. For the sake of this published work, Derek Carr has been better. However, Sunday’s game will go a long way towards deciding between these two.
*Top Photo: The Canadian Press