The Las Vegas Raiders have a lot to be excited about so far this season. The Raiders are 2-0 and have beaten two perennial powerhouses in the AFC in the Ravens and Steelers, due in large part to the play of their quarterback and leader, Derek Carr.
Carr has been playing his best football lately and is playing like an MVP candidate through the first two weeks of the year. The numbers back that up, too, as he currently leads the league in passing yards and by a wide margin.
Las Vegas’ captain has thrown for 817 yards so far this season, and he leads Arizona Cardinals’ quarterback Kyler Murray by over 125 yards. For comparison's sake, the difference between Murray and Kansas City Cheifs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who’s currently in third place, by only nine yards. In other words, Carr is significantly out-pacing his peers.
As many people have pointed out, Carr has been letting it rip more this season and that’s a large part of the reason why he’s put up such big numbers. So far, he’s tied with Tampa Bay Buccanneers’ signal caller Tom Brady for the most completions of 20 yards or more with 12, putting to bed the “captain checkdown” stigma that has surrounded him the last few years.
Per Pro Football Focus, the eight-year veteran is also tied with Murray for the most “big-time throws” with nine, and he has the fourth-highest passing grade at 82.5. So, there are very few, if any, quarterbacks in the league that are playing better than him right now.
But beyond any sort of stats or numbers, what’s probably the most impressive facet of Carr’s game right now is how he’s handled adversity.
Multiple starters have been missing from the offensive line for the majority of the season, running back Josh Jacobs has been out and outside of Waller, the Raiders’ receiving corps is an unproven bunch. Meanwhile, the three-time Pro Bowler has led his team to a comeback and a road victory against two very strong opponents.
I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, but if this trend continues, we’ll be referencing 2021 as Carr’s best season moving forward instead of 2016.
In other Raiders’ links:
- Nevin Lawson cut: the Raiders hope he’ll re-join the team on the practice squad.
- Carr, Leatherwood, Jacobs questionable: Gruden spoke to the media on Monday and shared some injury information on a few key players. The status for those three against the Miami Dolphins this weekend is currently up in the air.
- Crosby leads NFL in pressures and QB hits: more Raiders are popping up on the top of the stat sheets.
- Steelers game winners and losers: Carr was among the winners but find out who else made the cut, for better or worse, after a strong outing in Pittsburgh this Sunday.