Derek Carr
David Becker/Associated Press

Derek Carr Is Looking Like 2016 Self

Derek Carr is off to a tremendous start to the 2021 NFL season. He has led the Raiders to their first 3-0 start for the first time since 2002, in which the Raiders made the Superbowl. Derek Carr has thrown the ball with so much poise and confidence in his 4th year in Jon Gruden’s system. The Raiders are the first team in NFL history to beat three 10 win teams to start a season. They have not made any of these wins easy, in typical Raider fashion. Would we expect anything else? The Raiders love chaos and making life as difficult as possible for themselves. Falling down 14-0, in both home games to the Ravens and Dolphins. Derek Carr and the Raiders have shown their resilience by winning both games against really good opponents.

Carr has made big throw after big throw to propel the team to a 3-0 start. He really gets better as the game goes on. Leading game-winning drives in overtime against the Ravens and Dolphins. Carr has taken on every challenge that is in front of him on and off the field. The 8th year quarterback is playing with a totally revamped offensive line that has just one returning starter from last year, Kolton Miller. A group of young receivers who are trying to make their mark in the league. He is missing his workhorse running back, Josh Jacobs, to take pressure off the passing game. Yet, Derek has not complained and just put the team on his back. Through the first three games, he has thrown six touchdowns to two interceptions. One of those interceptions was not his fault.

Can The Raiders Keep Momentum For A Playoff Run?

In the last two seasons, the Raiders have started with a record of 6-4 and 6-3. Positioning themselves for a spot in the playoffs. In 2019, they would go on to lose 5 of 6. 2020, losing 5 out of 7 in the most important months of football. There are definitely reasons to believe that the Raiders cant keep this up based on past seasons under Jon Gruden. People in the media world are still not buying into the Raiders 3-0 start. Some believe, Jon Gruden’s coaching style wears down his players as the season goes on. I am here to say the Raiders are here to stay, already getting through their toughest stretch in their schedule. To begin the season, I was hoping to win one of the three games to open the season. Proved me wrong by winning all three games.

There are reasons for optimism that this season will be different than the previous two years. The Raiders are playing defense!!! Led by MADD MAXX CROSBY, he is causing havoc in the backfield seems like every play. A Rotation of Crosby, Ngakoue, Ferrell, and Carl Nassib. Keeping them fresh to rush the passer. Young Corners Travon Mullen and Nate Hobbs playing physically with opposing receivers. Casey Hayward is a former all-pro, playing like his old all-pro self. A linebacker core of Denzel Perryman, Cory Littleton, and John Abram playing more in the box which is more to his skill set.

The Raiders don’t have to be a top 10 defense. If they can be in the middle of the pack and cause timely turnovers they will be fine. The Raiders have the number one ranked offense in the NFL through the first three weeks. Leading passer, Derek Carr to run the offense. Scoring more than 26 points in each of the first three games. The team should only get better as the season goes on. Derek Carr’s connection with young emerging receivers Bryan Edwards and Henry Ruggs will continue to evolve. The Raiders have yet to play their best football. They have been sleepwalking through the first half of each game. If they play as they have been in the second halves of games for all 4th quarters, they will be a really tough team to beat. Raider Nation will be back in the playoffs if they continue hot start.

Time To Get Sentimental With Derek Carr

Derek… I have been extremely critical of you over the past 8 years among many other people. Taking my frustration of being a Raiders fan out on you. I bleed silver & black like everyone in the Raider Nation. 23 years, I have been alive on this planet, really only truly witnessed one playoff-off appearance in 2016. You were hurt, so did it even count? I remember when you were drafted in the second round in 2014. Having a feeling of we might have something in this young quarterback. I loved everything about you in your first three seasons. Throwing touchdowns and most importantly showing appreciation to the Raider fan base. Over the last 4 years, you have caused me pain at times. Me screaming profanity at the TV and yelling WHAT ARE YOU DOING??? At least once a game. I burned your jersey following Colt’s loss last year. I have wanted you gone so many times, looking for change at the quarterback position.

Today, Derek, I am here to say sorry. You have been the most stable position we have had on our team in the past 20 years. You have gone through so much of changing of players, coaches, and locations of the team. Never complaining about it. Derek, you have always stayed positive and represent the Raiders the best you can. As the quarterback of an NFL team, you are always to get the blame after a team loss. The most credit when the team wins. I really mean when I say this, I want the ball in your hands in the 4th quarter, when the game is on the line. You can just feel the confidence in yourself and what you give the team. I know you are going to make the throw that needs to be made like you have done 25 times in your career. You are off to the best start of your career, keep it up, continue to shut me up, and all the other haters. Stay healthy, this team needs you and I need you. Go Raiders!!!

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