Though the Las Vegas Raiders left the game Sunday night with a loss, there’s a lot to be excited about. Probably the biggest reason fans should be excited is the fact that the offense is playing at an elite level. Many doubted quarterback Derek Carr heading into the season but it’s hard to doubt him now. He looked like a top-five quarterback against a solid Kansas City Chiefs pass defense.
There’s been a lot of talk about how Jon Gruden and Carr don’t get along but it’s hard to fathom that is true. The two men are in complete sync when it comes to the Raiders’ offense and it’s showing on the field. Gruden praised Carr, who arguably had one of the most impressive games of his career.
“He had four or five balls that were magnificent throws that we could have caught,” Gruden said after the loss. “He played tremendous tonight; he played almost flawless.”
Carr had a few big passes that were dropped which hurt his overall stats. Outside of the interception when the Raiders were in desperation mode, Carr was essentially perfect on the night.
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Carr Had Best Game, Says Analyst
Not only did Carr’s game pass the eye test, but he also got rave reviews from the analytics community. According to Pro Football Focus, Carr had the best passing grade of any quarterback this season:
Until his game-ending interception, Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr played one of the cleanest games you’ll see from a quarterback. His 96.0 passing grade for the game is the second-best in the NFL since 2016 among quarterbacks with at least 30 dropbacks. Carr finished 23-for-31 for 275 yards, three touchdowns and the interception. But of his eight incompletions, four were drops and two were throwaways.
Carr tied for the league lead with five big-time throws this week; he also had the highest accuracy percentage on 10-plus-yard throws, while the short game was efficient, as well. It’s unfortunate that Carr was going head-to-head with Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, or we’d be talking about his incredible game in a key division matchup.
PFF has been tough on Carr this season but even they are starting to warm up to him. This past Sunday’s game wasn’t an anomaly. Carr has been playing at a high-level for most of the season and only seems to be getting better.
Carr Is Having an Excellent Season
Carr is a top-10 quarterback in the NFL right now and he’s having a career year. It’s been rough for him the last few years but he’s finally comfortable in an offense and has some weapons to play with. He’s showing what he can do in a good situation.
“Our quarterback is playing at a supreme level,” Gruden said Monday.
Carr is fifth in the NFL in pass rating and he’s done that while playing one of the hardest schedules. He’s not in the top-10 of yards or touchdowns but the Raiders have a run-heavy offense so that should be expected. The team usually doesn’t need him to have massive games to win.