Last season there were three quarterbacks who stood out above all others in how poorly they performed under pressure: Mason Rudolph, Dwayne Haskins, and Kyle Allen. Good thing Ron Rivera only has two of those quarterbacks now.
These three quarterbacks all posted a DVOA of -120-percent or worse under pressure, which is about as bad of a performance as anyone could imagine. A DVOA of 0 would be essentially like having no impact at all. Positive is positive. Negative is negative. In 2019, Carson Wentz was the QB who posted a DVOA of .1-percent, so take that as a baseline.
The worst DVOA in the entire league over all plays was Haskins at -42-percent. Of course this means he was dragging himself down on these plays under pressure, as all quarterbacks do, but many of the league’s “worst” are often dragged down not by the majority of what they do and instead are tortured by their mistakes in these situations. FootballOutsiders posted their findings how of QBs performed with and without pressure in 2019 by DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) and yards per play and these three stood out with how bad they were under pressure.
Then on the other side of the spectrum was Lamar Jackson, the only QB in the NFL to perform above average under pressure, followed by Patrick Mahomes, Dak Prescott, Drew Brees, and Russell Wilson. It’s not difficult to see the dichotomy between each end of the spectrum. And while those five were a bit above the competition, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr wasn’t far behind, ranking eighth in DVOA under pressure, just a hair behind Aaron Rodgers and Deshaun Watson.
The other good news about pressure is that Carr was rarely in those situations: only Andy Dalton, Tom Brady, and the Saints duo of Brees and Teddy Bridgewater had a lower pressure rate than Carr’s 25.4-percent. (And unfortunately if you’re a Panthers fan, another sign that Bridgewater was maybe not a starting quarterback as his rate of success was remarkably lower than Brees in the same situations.)
However, Carr’s 3.4 yards per play was below average, probably more of an indictment on Jon Gruden, Greg Olson, and the offensive playingcalling; something that Mike Mayock and the coaches hope was addressed in the draft with Henry Ruggs, Bryan Edwards, and Lynn Bowden. If they can continue to complete their passes and remain efficient, then the hope is that playmakers will help Carr take care of the rest.
Sort of like what New Orleans was doing for Bridgewater. Except Carr has been nothing but better than Bridgewater since entering the league, so the ceiling could be even higher.
With no pressure, Haskins was the only player in the league to be below average, and that was at -.1-percent. Carr was basically average, finishing at 47.1-percent with no pressure, situated between Watson and Jameis Winston. He was still better than a few other notable QBs, including Brady, Wentz, Rodgers, and Josh Allen. Carr was tied for seventh in yards per play with no pressure at 8.5, same as Winston.
He was also fairly consistent in both areas — as consistent as one can be in two totally different environments — as his rate of difference was “only” 82-percent. The five QBs who were more consistent were Prescott, Rodgers, Mahomes, Jackson, and Watson.
What Las Vegas would like to see next is for Carr to continue that consistency, but with a little more success in both areas.