It's the defense stupid! Carr gets more than his fair share of criticism and it is getting old. There are very few quarterbacks that can do what he is capable of doing. People act as if every year that there is another Patrick Mahomes in the draft that is waiting to be selected. I'm sure all the unrealistic fans would have traded Carr in a heartbeat a couple of years ago to have a crack at mom chasing Zach Wilson. The Carr critics are so bad, I seriously had one in the forum try to blame Derek Carr for Hunter Refrow fumbling twice. If you are one of these people, I can't take you seriously. And unfortunately, 95% of Carr critics are like this. Yes, Derek Carr lost us the game against the Chargers. No, he didn't lose us the game against the Cardinals or Titans, that would be Josh McDaniels and Patrick Graham.
I did a deep dive into the Raiders defensive stats since 2000 and to be quite frank, it is very disturbing. Only a few people point it out. From 2000 to 2002 (when we last where a consistent juggernaut), our defense ranked:
- 2000: 17th in yards allowed, 9th in points allowed
- 2001: 18th in yards, 19th in points
- 2002: 11th in yards, 6th in points (super bowl year)
I included yards as well as points because yards indicate can the team just flat stop opponents from moving the ball. Points indicate the "bend but not break" defense (teams can move the ball, but does the team only give up field goals instead of touchdowns, both I feel are equally important). This averages out to 11.3 in points and 15.3 in yards. This isn't great but at least we are in the upper half of good defenses.
Now I'm going to get our yards team rankings since 2003 to 2021 (chronological order)
30, 30, 27, 3, 22, 27, 26, 11, 29, 18, 22, 21 (Derek Carr's rookie year), 22, 26 (playoff appearance), 23, 26, 19, 25 and 14 (playoffs)
This is the Raiders team rankings in points allowed from 2003 to 2021 (chronological order)
26, 30, 25, 18, 26, 24, 23, 20, 29, 28, 29, 32 (Carr's rookie year), 22, 20 (playoff appearance, Khalil Mack's DPOY), 20, 32, 24, 30, 26 (playoff appearance).
Those are absolute pathetic rankings and the real problems with the Raiders. From 2003, the Raiders have had a grand total of THREE defense rank in the TOP HALF of the league in yards allowed a game. In points allowed, the Raiders have yet to have a SINGLE defense rank in the top half of the league since our Super Bowl appearance. This is not winning football at all. The Raiders could have had Patrick Mahomes as quarterback and his record as a starter might be slightly better but if the defense gives up as many points as he is able to score, then it is a 50-50 chance that the Raiders win that game. This is why Carr actually inflated comeback numbers. His defense blows a lead and he rescues them. I would rather see us a win a game 14-3 because our defense stopped everything the opponent was doing rather than a 38-35 win because we had the ball last and only had to 25 yards to get into field goal range. Very few teams have quarterbacks that can will them to victory (Carr has done this some of the time). But Raider's team building is an absolute joke. The Raiders can't put forth a respectable defense in almost 20 years. And they keep hiring bad defensive coordinators over and over again (Jason Tarver to Ken Norton Jr to Paul Guenther and the list goes on). Patrick Graham is yet to coach one defense with a winning record. That doesn't give anyone any confidence in Josh McDaniels as a head coach. These problems keeps coming back to the man with the best haircut in Las Vegas. He keeps hiring people that don't know how to build a team. So far, Dave Zeigler is proving that yet again. I'm still absolutely dumbfounded how he could be satisfied with the 2nd most cap space going into the season and have the offensive line still look the way it does. That's not a winning GM mentality.
And in case you are wondering, through 3 games so far, the Raiders rank 21st in yards allowed a game and 25th in points allowed in a game (DEREK CARR'S FAULT!!!!!!!!!!!).
"Offense wins games, defense wins championships".