Carr’s Anxiety the Real Culprit

On another message board, I responded to another fan who said Carr was mentally weak. I responded that I sort of agree, but I thought it wasn't quite that simple. I think he’s been increasingly skittish ever since the broken leg in 2016 and then the broken back in 2017. He came into the league with a reputation of playing relatively poorly when pressured. He also turns the ball over way too often and easily. I did 4 seconds of research and I found the list of DC’s weaknesses below from Walter football coming out of college.

  • Anxiety issues
  • Can get flustered by a pass rush
  • Level of competition
  • Lacks mobility
  • Not a running threat
  • Smaller hands
  • Anxiety is what jumps out most to me here. Anxiety is contagious, which most of us have experienced during this pandemic. It's likely that the team has taken on his demeanor to some extent. Yes, I realize that I'm taking on the armchair therapist role. When Gruden left, you could see that Carr’s initial anxiety level was down and he played free for two games. It probably felt good to not have Gruden's overbearing presence on the sideline for the Eagles and Broncos games. Then we had a bye week, the Ruggs tragedy, followed by the Giants game and Carr’s anxiety appeared to be sky-high. It's very common for anxiety to increase in response to a sudden loss or tragedy.

    Carr's a very hard worker, he's talented, and he's great at strong starts to the season the past three seasons. This may be due to the fact that anxiety over the course of the season wears on him. Carr looked mentally exhausted after the Bengals loss. He starts slow in individual games, but seems to get better later in games. This could be because he slows his mind down over the course of the game, he just plays without overthinking things, and he gets into a groove.

    To get back to winning, Carr needs to slow his mind down and stay in tune with the present moment. He needs to re-energize his mind with the proper rest and recuperation. This may run counter to the NFL QB stereotype of watching game tape right after a game and working early and late. Carr may be better off relaxing and taking some time away from the game. If he can get back to a state of mind where he's calm, focused, and in the present moment, I think he can get back to the player he was earlier in the season. He needs to be a Raider, to be brash, and to let it rip. Forget the naysayers. I hope that's what happens for Carr and for Raider Nation.