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CBS Sports on predictions of Derek Carr's future success: Pump the brakes

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In light of a difficult second-half for Derek Carr, CBS Sports wonders whether the real Derek Carr is the 'Aaron Rodgers-like' quarterback we saw in games 1-11, or the slumping gunslinger we saw in games 12-16.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

You know the magical run had to end at some point, right?

In an off-season in which everything seemed to turn up roses for the Raiders, it was about time we saw some negativity and pessimism regarding the team. In this case, the culprit was Sean Wagner-McGough over at CBS Sports who isn't buying into the Carr hype. The question is, does he have a point?

His message begins (and can be summed up, I think) in the first two paragraphs of his piece:

There are two competing narratives that tell Derek Carr's story. The first -- and the predominant version -- says that Carr is on the cusp of stardom, poised to follow up on a stellar sophomore year by ending the Raiders' decade-plus playoff drought. The second pumps the brakes. The second narrative says Carr remains a far ways away from entering the upper echelon of quarterbacks.

For a while, I subscribed to the first line of thinking. But after going back and watching all 573 of Carr's passes and his remaining dropbacks from 2015, after looking at the statistics, I switched sides. The Raiders might want to start worrying about the face of their franchise.

The last line sounds so ominous.

The Raiders might want to start worrying about the face of their franchise.

Wagner-McGough justifies this thinking by pointing out the 40-point drop Carr saw in his QB Rating over the final five weeks of the season (101.5 in games 1-11, 71.1 in games 12-16). So what changed?

It's interesting that the piece acknowledges that many of Carr's struggles can be connected to poor offensive line play, which led to poor decision making, diminished accuracy and 'trying to do too much'. (He then casually mentions that these five games featured three games against the Broncos and Chiefs — two of the best defenses in the league).

The good news? Well, Oakland now has arguably the best offensive line in football. They also have a quarterback who is a year older and weapons that hope to be a bit healthier. (And, it seems the author of this piece is in the definite minority).

So what do you think — while definitely a reason for concern, are the last five games of 2015 reason to believe Carr might not be the long-term solution for Oakland?