Derek Carr
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a rollercoaster of a career for Derek Carr, well actually he had one high point and rest are pretty low. Derek Carr will start his 6th NFL season this year and it’s time to see if he is the real deal, or if Oakland, soon to be Las Vegas, will look at other options at QB. Let’s look at his history though, to see what we are really looking at.

Derek Carr in 2014

As a rookie in 2014, with Tony Sparano as the Head Coach and Greg Olsen as the Offensive Coordinator, the Raiders were looking at a winless season. Not necessarily on Carr’s behalf, but just because the team was so bad. The Raiders did happen to pull out 3 wins at the end of that season to end the year on a good note. That year, Derek Carr had 3270 passing yards, 21 TDs, and 12 INT. Which isn’t a bad year for a rookie but it is less tha stellar.


In his second year, Derek Carr improved. Jack Del Rio was the head coach and would be until 2017. Bill Musgrave was the offensive coordinator for the next two years. Derek Carr’s stats improved, but it’s not enough to essentially wow you. He threw for 3987 passing yards, 32 TDs, and 13 INT. The Raiders went 7-9 this year, which was a major improvement in one season and were looking to make noise the next year.


And improved next year the Raiders did. The Raiders went 12-3….until Carr got injured in week 16 against the Colts. Before that I was on Cloud 9, I was rooting for Carr to win MVP, I was thinking Super Bowl, and then I remember: God hates the Raiders. This was Derek Carr’s best year, this is also the best roster they could have put around him in his career. He posted 3937 passing yards, 28 TDs, and 6 INTs in 15 games. He was looking poised and had the momentum to be a top 10 QB in the league.


In 2017, the Raiders fired Bill Musgrave. As well as the Raiders played in 2016, I can attest to the fact that the play-calling was very questionable. They decided to promote the QB coach to the Offensive Coordinator, Todd Downing. Downing had the EXACT same system as Musgrave, just simpler, so defenses did even better against the Raiders offense. Derek Carr had some hits that resulted in a back injury that kept him out for one game. Derek Carr went 6-9 that year, leaving everyone to wonder: What the hell happened? Derek Carr, after breaking his fibula the previous year, looked scared, skittish, and that affected his play. He only threw for 3496 passing yards, 22 TDs, and 13 INTs. Making it look like the 2016 season was a fluke.

Derek Carr Last Year

Which brings us to last year. They fired Jack Del Rio over that bad year. Then, the Raiders signed Jon Gruden to a whopping 10 year, 100 million contract. For context, the common consensus was that ALL Raiders fans (so like 12 fans) were happy and loved Chucky. Although reality came, Jon Gruden cleaned house and hired all of the guys he wanted, like Greg Olsen. He also came in and traded Khalil Mack after a contract dispute, and essentially put the Raiders in a rebuild. Derek Carr had a real shitty team, and although he didn’t look as good on the field, he had some bright spots in his stats. It was the first year he had 4000 passing yards (he had 4049), had his career high in completion rate at 68.9%, and had his highest QB rating other than 2016. However, he only had 19 TDs (Yikes), and 10 INTs, 8 of those INTs were in the first 5 weeks of the season. The Raiders went 4-12 this year and the Derek Carr trade rumors were getting louder.

The Point

Now you’re wondering WTF does what coach he had have to do with Derek Carr?! Get to the point! Look at the instability of the organization, hell this is the only the second time in his career that he will have the same offense for 2 years in a row! As a Raiders fan, and frankly a Derek Carr fan, I feel that the critics are too harsh on him, even though the reasons are there, they’re not looking as in-depth as I am. They look at the W-L column and stats, which as I have, but I looked at the reasons for those stats and record. So let’s get back to the original point: Is this a make it or break it year for Derek Carr? ABSOLUTELY. There were already rumblings about trading Derek Carr last season and in the offseason, another bad season will definitely not keep him here. Especially with how much Jon Gruden LOVES QBs (hell he’s taking Nathan Peterman as a project.) Derek Carr’s seat is hot and he knows it, he must put up STELLAR numbers and at least have an improvement in wins this year to keep his ass safe another year. Do I think he’s capable? Unequivocally, especially with more understanding of Gruden’s system. Unfortunately for Carr, the schedule doesn’t care about his hot seat as the Raiders schedule is TOUGH. The pressure is on Derek Carr, are you the franchise or not?