We were just four games into the 2016 season when the talk of Derek Carr as an MVP candidate began. It was first mentioned in early October by the last Raiders MVP, Rich Gannon. He said at the time that the talk was a bit premature, but perhaps the more appropriate word should have been premonitory.
The Raiders were 3-1 at that time and now two months later, their 9-2 record is even more impressive and Carr has everything to do with it. He has led the team on 5 late game winning drives this season, including last week against the Panthers.
His game-winning play this season has impressed the ESPN panel of 12 experts so much, he leads their poll for this season’s MVP. His numbers are pretty good too — 281 of 423 (66.4%) for 3,115 yards and 22 TD’s to 5 INT’s.
Carr’s panel score of 41 is just ahead of Matt Ryan (37) and Tom Brady (36) for the top spot. Though Ryan has 4 first place votes to Carr’s 3, Carr has more combined first and second place votes (7) than anyone.
After that top three are the Cowboys rookie duo of Ezekiel Elliott (27) and Dak Prescott (17), who will likely take each other out of the running for MVP with one of them taking home rookie of the year. Prescott received no first place MVP votes from the panel.