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Derek Carr QB passing charts for week 1 Raiders vs Bengals

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A breakdown of Derek Carr's Passing Targets against CIN.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


Derek Carr had a short day in the Week 1 loss to the Bengals. In the 2nd quarter, on 3rd-and-10, Carr broke the pocket and scrambled towards the first down. When CB Adam Jones came up in support, Carr went after him with a hard stiff arm. While Jones punched the ball out, Carr punched his hand towards Jones' helmet. The hand swelled up and that would be the end of the day for Carr.

In his 1 1/2 quarters of play, Carr was not particularly effective. The entire offense seemed either nervous or just out of sync, which resulted in a number of poor plays, including quite a few drops. His first three drives all resulted in punts, while the 4th should have been a punt, but instead resulted in a failed 4th-down play.

His final stat line was not great :

7 /12 (58%), 61 yards, 8.7 yards per comp, 0 TDs, 0 Int, 71.9 rating

But now let's go beyond the simple stats just a little bit and look at some more details.

Here are a couple of charts that show where Derek Carr was throwing the ball, how quickly, and to whom.

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Each Chart depicts the field and shows locations of throws.

  • X Axis is the Line of Scrimmage
  • Y Axis is depth of the throw, +values = downfield, - values = behind LOS
  • Target location is depth of throw. It is easier where the pass was caught, or if incomplete, then where the targeted receiver was.
  • Vertical blue lines indicate the inner hashmarks
  • Vertical orange lines indicate the Numbers on the field
  • Two charts given for each QB to display data in different groupings.
  • TD throws include depth within endzone. A 10 yard TD rec that is 5 yards deep within the Endzone shows up as a 15 yard target.

* * *

By Result

The chart shows Completions, Incompletions, and Interceptions. TDs are also indicated as a Red Circle around a given completion.

By Target Position

This chart tracks targets by receiver, separated into positions. WR, RB, TE. H-Backs are put into TE. FBs are put into the RB category.

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Detailed Data

Some aggregate and Pivot Table data from the tracking information.

General Avg Median
Snap to Pass 2.2 2.0
Depth of Throw 4.1 5.0
Run after catch 6.3 4.0

Target Depth #
under 5 8
behind LOS 2
>5 4
>10 0
>20 0

Target Side #
L 7
R 5

Pass Result Num Snap To Pass Depth RAC Left Right
Comp 7 2.3 s 2.4 6.3 5 2
Inc 5 2.2 s 6.4 2 3
Total 12 2.2 s 4.1 6.3 7 5

Receiver Type Num Snap to Pass Depth RAC
RB 5 2.2 s 0.8 5.8
WR 7 2.3 s 6.4 7.0
Total 12 2.2 s 4.1 6.3

Rushers Num Snap To Pass Depth
4 9 2.2 s 3.8
5 3 2.4 s 5.0
Total 12 2.2 4.1

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Here are a couple of things that stand out :

  • Short passes.
    • Avg target depth was 4.1 yards.
    • Completions avg 8.7 yards
      • 2.4 target depth
      • 6.3 run after catch
    • 8 of his 12 attempts were under 5 yards
    • 2 attempts of 10 yards, no attempts longer than that.
  • Quick passes
    • average 2.2s per throw (Snap to Pass value)
    • median 2.0s per throw. This means that half of his throws were 2 seconds or quicker.
  • WRs and RBs
    • No passes to TEs
    • Nearly half of the throws were to WRs (7 / 12)
    • RBs avg target depth was 0.8, indicating very short throws
    • WRs avg target depth was 6.4, a little farther downfield
    • WRs were targeted generally to the outside. On the right, 3 /4 targets are all outside the #s; on the left side, 2 / 3 are at the #s or beyond.

Would like to see more downfield throws. Carr is certainly capable of it, though the offensive line (particularly the right side) will have to hold up. Often an athletic TE (Rivera and hopefully Walford) is capable of exploiting the seam and give the QB available targets downfield in the middle of the field or across the middle of the field. Neither showed up in Carr's playing time. Downfield WR throws would generally be deep to the sidelines (avoiding the safety).

Quick short throws depends on getting Run After Catch yards from the receiver. 6.6 is a nice average, but the median is only 4.0, indicating that a few big runs affected the average. 4 yard median means half the runs after the reception were for 4 yards or fewer.

The 2 throws to the RB near the LOS in the middle of the field look like checkdowns throws.

In a quick passing game with short throws, there are two major keys : accuracy and accuracy.

Accuray is key to the completion percentage. When the short pass is used as a pseudo-replacement for a running play, then it's important to complete these passes. These are not challenging, difficult throws; they are quick and high percentage throws. An incompletion is troublesome and on passes

Accuracy is key to the run after catch yardage.Typically, accuracy is measured by the completion percentage. But there's a level of accuracy beyond that. A well-placed and well-timed ball will allow the receiver to catch the ball and then quickly transition to the run; a poorly thrown ball will often force the receiver to adjust, to slow down, and to have additional difficulties running after the catch, allowing defenders to close in on him. This type of accuracy is often refered to as "ball placement" and we can look at run after catch yards (and the video to accompany it) to see if Carr is doing a good job of this.

A quick passing game depends on run after catch to get those intermediate or big plays; give the ball to a dynamic player like Cooper, get a nice block, and then let him run into the open field. But if the ball placement is poor, that's unlikely to happen and the offense may struggle. On this day, Carr was sometimes throwing a bit behind the receiver, leading to either incompletions or minimzed additional yardage. Carr's first pass to Cooper was behind him and led to an incompletion. Later, as Cooper was on a shallow drag across the middle, Carr's throw was behind him and led to a Big Hit by George Iloka. On the day, the average Run After Catch yardage was 6.6, but the median was only 4.0. A couple of big RAC plays helped the average, but the median tells us that on half the completions, the RAC yardage was 4 yards or less.

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Even if Derek Carr had a full game's worth of throws, it would still have only been a brief indication into what the season portends. As it turns out, there were only 12 throws to look at and from that there are limited conclusions to make. Short quick passes were clearly the game plan, but there were some problems with the execution of that.

Maybe things would have settled down for Carr if he had some more time in the game. Maybe he would have found a few downfield targets and opened up some of the shorter and intermediate routes.

So these are a few things to keep in mind as the season goes forward. Watch the upcoming games and see if these are indeed issues or if they are merely little rough patches for the first game.