An historic season for Derek Carr in 2016 kinda seems like a long time ago now. His 2017 was a forgettable one that was short on heroics and long on losses, including falling in 4-straight to finish out the season.
In a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately league, that’s just how Carr will be judged. NFL.com’s Greg Rosenthal put together his ranking of the NFL’s top 32 QB’s and Carr’s ranking was not a very favorable one.
The NFL’s first $25 million man landed at 17, just outside the top half of NFL starter.
A season where Carr was mentioned for MVP was followed up by one in which he finished No. 25 in Pro Football Focus’ QB rankings, No. 20 in ESPN’s QBR and No. 21 in my QB Index. Jon Gruden will look to get more big plays out of Carr, whose career-best ranking in yards-per-attempt is 18th (7.0 in 2016).
2017 stats: 15 games | 62.7 pct | 3,496 pass yds | 6.8 ypa | 22 pass TD | 13 INT
To Rosenthal’s credit he doesn’t mention wins in his judgment of Carr. Wins are not a QB stat. Even though in 2016, Carr was credited for many of them in the Raiders return to the playoffs after 14 years. That was before his broken fibula in week 16 made that playoff trip a short one.
With no ligament damage, Carr promised a strong comeback in 2017, but with a new offensive coordinator (for some Godforsaken reason) things hit a snag just three games into the season. Then a back injury the following week presented another snag and next thing you know the season was kind of spinning out of control.
For what it’s worth, the only AFC West QB ranked ahead of Carr was Philip Rivers (11). All others were below him including former Chiefs QB Alex Smith (18), and the guy the Broncos just signed to a free agent deal, Case Keenum (28). Despite both putting up far superior numbers to Carr last season.