Derek Carr is a polarizing figure among Raiders fans for good reason. He exploded onto the scene in 2016 to lead the team to a 12-4 record and looked like a surefire franchise quarterback. But after suffering a broken fibula late in the season, Carr’s magic seemed to run out and he’s been the subject of much criticism through the past few losing seasons.
With Jon Gruden now established and wielding full command of the franchise in his second season of a 10 year contract, Carr has been revitalized and is on pace for a 3,990-yard, 24 touchdown, 8 interception season on 72.3 percent completions.
Gruden has found a formula to put Carr in advantageous situations on third down that they’ve frequently converted by establishing the run and manufacturing quick-hitting, dink-and-dunk passing plays. So far this season, the Raiders have been the most run-heavy team in the league on first down, putting the onus on Josh Jacobs and the heaviest offensive line in the NFL to grind out positive yardage.
NFL's most pass-heavy teams, based on first-down plays:— Greg Auman (@gregauman) November 20, 2019
1. Falcons 59.7%
2. Dolphins 58.3%
3. Giants 58.2%
4. Chiefs 58.0%
5. Bengals 57.5%
NFL's most run-heavy teams, based on first-down plays:
1. Raiders 63.8%
2. 49ers 63.2%
3. Ravens 61.6%
4. Titans 57.5%
5. Broncos 57.5%
Carr is captaining an offense that is engineered to churn out first downs and methodically drive down the field to score points and control the time of possession. And he’s doing it quite well, leading a relatively average stable of offensive weapons to the thick of the AFC playoff hunt through 10 games, just a year after a dismal 4-12 season.
The freshness of that losing feeling and the tumult this franchise has endured for nearly the past two decades has fans skeptical of Carr and the winning formula, but hopeful that he’s figured it out.
It has also brought out more and more discussion regarding whether or not Carr and this offense can continue to conservatively will their way to wins. In his time with the Raiders, Carr has led 18 fourth quarter comebacks. You’d like to see him have more convincing victories — well, more victories overall — but he’s made more clutch plays than big blunders.
In the NFL scouting community there are four broad boxes that quarterbacks are placed in. Those categories of quarterback include:
- Quarterbacks you win because of
- Quarterbacks you can win with
- Quarterbacks you win in spite of
- Quarterbacks you can’t win with
A win because of quarterback is a guy who is truly the reason a team wins games. This guy is either considered to be one of the premier players in the league or one who consistently wills his team to victory. Examples of a win because of quarterback include guys like Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson and Matthew Stafford.
A win with quarterback is a sufficient starter who will help his team win, but is not going to be the reason they win games. Players in this category are mid-tier starters who have good-not-great traits and win games with talent around them. A win with quarterback can get you to the Super Bowl and help you win it, but he won’t win it for you. Alex Smith is the quintessential win with quarterback.
Win in spite of quarterbacks are guys who do not sufficiently improve a team’s chances of winning games. They can capably mange an offense at times, but are not relied upon to lead the team. You can make the playoffs and maybe even win the Super Bowl with this guy if you surround him with a truly elite team, but he won’t be one of the reasons you won it.
The can’t win with quarterback category is pretty self explanatory. These are players who don’t have the traits necessary to compete in the NFL and shouldn’t be starting. You aren’t making the playoffs with this guy and are probably in big trouble if he’s on the field.
With those categories in mind, I’d like to know what type of quarterback you think Carr is. What scouting bucket are you putting him in?
What type of QB is Derek Carr?
This poll is closed
Win because of QB
Win with QB
Win in spite of QB
Can’t win with QB