It’s been a long road to this point but it finally looks like Derek Carr could return to MVP form. Through two games this season, he’s led the Las Vegas Raiders to two wins and has looked really good while doing it. In fact, he’s looked better than Tom Brady, who many wanted the Raiders to replace Carr with.
There have been so many rumors peddled that Carr and head coach Jon Gruden don’t get along that it’s almost comical now. Gruden talked about his relationship with the quarterback and he certainly didn’t sound like a guy who’s planning on moving on anytime soon.
“There’s a lot of people that make a lot of opinions on Derek and Derek’s performances and our relationship,” Gruden said Monday after the win. “He had nine different flankers last year. Nine. I was here for four years [first stint in the late 90s, early 2000s] and we had Tim Brown every week for four years. We’ve had, I don’t know how many different combinations on the offensive line, yet he threw for over 4,000 yards and 70% and put us in a position to make the playoffs in Week 15. This guy’s a great quarterback and we’re surrounding him with better players. And once our defense I think starts playing to their potential, he could even be better. But he does so much with the ball and without the ball and behind the scenes and I think Raiders fans should really be proud of him. I know I am.”
That might be the biggest vote of confidence that Gruden has given Carr yet. He’s definitely praised the quarterback before but the fact that he brought up the detractors is pretty telling.
Chris Simms Still Believes Raiders Aren’t ‘All-in’ on Carr
At this point, the Raiders could give Carr a 10-year extension and still suggest that they’re still not going to be together for much longer. Former Gruden quarterback Chris Simms believes that the Raiders aren’t “all-in” on Carr despite the coach’s comments.
“I’m not sure [the Raiders] are all-in on [Carr] yet … I don’t think they are,” Simms said Tuesday on the Dan Patrick Show, via Raiders Beat. “I think this is a prove-it year for Derek Carr where he’s going to have to continue to play the way he’s played these first two weeks and probably then some.”
It’s true that Carr does need to keep up the good play but this narrative is so tired. Three years in a row, the Raiders have given Carr the keys to the offense and have brought in limited competition. Sure, they brought in Marcus Mariota this offseason but only the most staunch Carr haters thought he really had a shot to win the job.
Whether it’s fair or not, Carr needs to lead the Raiders to the playoffs to quiet the media.
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Carr’s MVP Odds Increase
There are those who still aren’t sold on Carr but the MVP oddsmakers are coming around. According to BetOnline.ag, the odds of him winning the award have gone up quite a bit.
Derek Carr has gone from off the board to 66-1 to win MVP per @betonline_ag
— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) September 22, 2020
That shouldn’t be too surprising considering he almost won the award in 2016. Now that he has a strong supporting cast, Carr could surprise the masses and compete for the MVP. We’re only two games in so he still has a lot to prove but his start has been close to perfect.