After Monday’s win over the Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa decided to stir the pot when he suggested that quarterback Derek Carr “shuts down” when he’s under pressure. That used to be a common criticism of Carr after he broke his leg but that hasn’t been the case over the last two seasons and it wasn’t the case Monday night. Despite being down 21-0 in the first half and facing consistent pressure, the quarterback almost led his team back to a big comeback before eventually falling 28-14.
The Raiders and Chargers have had a fierce rivalry for decades and there’s been trash talk from both teams. However, Bosa’s comments seemed unfair. Long-time NFL analyst Jim Trotter had a major issue with what the Pro Bowler had to say about Carr.
“You were way out of line with your comments on Derek Carr [on Monday],” Trotter said on NFL Network. “If he was as bad or as cowardly as you intimated, why was he nine of 10 for 76 yards and two touchdown passes in the third quarter behind a line that couldn’t protect him? Look, even if what you were saying was true, and it is not, why would you say it about a member of your NFL fraternity? You’re better than that, Joey.”
There’s nothing wrong with a little trash talk but Bosa’s comments were unnecessary and simply not true.
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Jon Gruden Dismisses Comments
According to Sportradar, Carr had the ninth-best passer rating in the NFL last season when under pressure.
That certainly doesn’t sound like a quarterback who “shuts down” when he’s under pressure. Head coach Jon Gruden didn’t want to get too much into Bosa’s comments but did back Carr.
“He’s entitled to say what he wants but we love our quarterback,” Gruden said Tuesday.
Carr is playing behind one of the weaker offensive lines of his career, which is an issue. However, the team is still 3-1 and tied for the top spot in the AFC West. Carr is likely circling his matchup against the Chargers in Week 18.
Can Carr Stay in the MVP Race?
After his first three games, many were pegging Carr as the MVP favorite. A tough loss against the Chargers likely changes that. It’s still early in the season and he still leads the NFL with 1,399 passing yards. Carr is certainly not out of the MVP race yet.
That said, the Raiders need to get back to winning games. Quarterbacks don’t win MVPs when their teams aren’t in the playoffs. Las Vegas has proven that they’re good enough to get into the playoffs but slow starts and lack of depth could become a major issue. The Raiders didn’t have an issue bouncing back last season. They started off 2-2 and then got to 6-3. What will really define this team is how they finish the year. Las Vegas went 2-5 down the stretch last season. That can’t be the case again this season if they hope to make the playoffs.