It might finally be time to acknowledge that Derek Carr is a top-10 quarterback in the NFL. He’s currently fifth in the NFL in quarterback rating and has led the Las Vegas Raiders to a 6-3 record despite playing one of the hardest schedules in the league thus far. Carr has had many detractors over the years but he’s starting to silence a lot of critics.
A lot of people in the media have gone so far as to suggest that Jon Gruden doesn’t believe that Carr is the Raiders’ quarterback of the future. His recent comments don’t sound like a coach who is unhappy with his quarterback play.
“He’s all business,” Gruden said Wednesday. “He’s on a mission right now to prove that he can be one of the top, if not the best, in football. That’s what he’s after. … I think he’s on a mission to deliver his leadership, his play-making and his day-to-day consistency to this team. If you could see him here every day in these circumstances, you’d all be impressed with what he represents. I couldn’t be happier having him as my quarterback.”
Work ethic and talent have never been Carr’s issue. He’s just been dealt a tough hand over the last few seasons. If he keeps playing as well as he has, the Raiders are headed for a playoff berth for only the second time in his career.
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Carr Commanding Raiders Offense
If you watch the Raiders play, it’s clear that Carr has total command over the offense. Even though his stats aren’t always amazing, he’s doing things to help the offense keep moving.
“I get more joy out of that sometimes than some of the touchdowns,” Carr said. “I’ll come to the sideline and start getting fired up with coach [Tom] Cable about it, and so I’m just here to do my job at the highest level I can and I’m planning on doing that all the time at a very high level. And I hold myself to a standard sometimes that it’s hard to achieve but when you do achieve it, you know you’re on the right track.”
Carr has been among the best quarterback on third down this season, according to Pro Football Focus, and that’s played a big role in why the Raiders’ offense has been so effective.
Highest passing grade on 3rd down
1. Aaron Rodgers – 87.3
2. Derek Carr – 87.2
3. Ben Roethlisberger – 81.7
4. Tom Brady – 80.1 pic.twitter.com/MmhQVAZcHL
— PFF (@PFF) November 18, 2020
Hunter Renfrow Praises Carr
A big reason Carr’s numbers have improved this year is that he’s got really good talent around him. Not only does he have more talent, but he’s also utilizing it very well.
“Derek is one of the best to realize what the defense is coming at him with and getting us to the right play,” wide receiver Hunter Renfrow said.
Carr has been praised for his football IQ in the past and it’s showing. He’s been able to spend three years in the same system and he’s finally got a strong grasp on Gruden’s system. It looked like he might not stick around long for a minute there but he’s proving every week that he deserves to be the team’s quarterback of the future.