Whether or not it’s fair, if the Las Vegas Raiders don’t win at least eight games this season, quarterback Derek Carr is going to get a lot of blame for it. Carr has never really had a season where he put up terrible numbers. Sure, he’s had some lackluster seasons but nothing truly bad.
However, he’s only led the Raiders to more wins than losses just once in his career. That’s not necessarily his fault but he’ll never get the respect he desires if his team doesn’t win more games. Raiders owner Mark Davis essentially acknowledged as much.
“The best quarterbacks are the ones that have the wins; stats will follow,” Davis said, per Paul Gutierrez of ESPN. “But you can’t discount the continuity between Derek and Jon. The longer they’re together, the more osmosis there is.
“There’s a legitimacy to all of it. Jon has a trust in him, and [Carr] works hard and he’s very, very smart. I think it’s all positive, but you still have to play the damn game.”
Davis clearly still trusts Carr to get the job done and he’s right. Now that Carr has some continuity and talent around him, he could be in for a big season.
Can Carr Survive Another Losing Season?
The Raiders haven’t always put Carr in the best position to win but they’ve finally surrounded him with talent all over the roster. Las Vegas has the potential to field one of the top offenses in the NFL this season. They gave Carr a first-round wide receiver and kept his elite offensive line intact.
Carr needs to win more games than he loses this season. If the Raiders can only muster six or seven wins, he’s going to be in serious trouble. Now, if the offense puts up huge numbers but the defense can’t stop anybody, that’s a different conversation. If that’s not the case, the Raiders may finally make good on the rumors they’re wanting to move on from Carr. A big season from him that ends in a playoff appearance could eradicate the rumors once and for all.
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Raiders OC Expresses What He Wants to See From Carr
One of the biggest knocks on Carr is that he plays way too safe. You’d be hardpressed to find an article about the quarterback that doesn’t mention his tendency to check down. Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson would like to see his quarterback get a little more creative.
“Can he be more creative,” Olson said, “and be the play after the playcall?
“That’s been an emphasis. He sees it; he’s athletic enough that he can create with his legs, so we are just working on him to create more outside the pocket.”
Carr is fast for a quarterback so there’s no reason for him not to try and move out of the pocket. He has so much arm talent and is a really good athlete but sometimes it feels like he doesn’t utilize all of his natural gifts. If the Raiders can finally get him to use his skills, he could finally recapture that MVP level magic.