We are now 8 weeks through the NFL season. As we take a look at the MVP award, I know who my pick will be. That goes to Derek Carr. Has anyone been more valuable to a football team than Carr? Let’s examine why if the season ended today that Derek Carr would be your NFL MVP in my opinion.
The Struggle Of The Raiders:
It takes a special athlete to rejuvenate a struggling franchise. Oakland hasn’t made the playoffs since the 2002 season where they lost in the Super Bowl to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. During this long playoff drought the Raiders haven’t just missed the playoffs but have been awful doing so. Oakland hasn’t had a winning season since 2002. To put this in perspective even the Browns have had a winning season during this time period. Only the Bills have had a longer drought than Oakland. When it comes to pressure, perhaps no one has had more than Derek Carr leading them to a 6-2 record thus far.
Carr ranks 5th in passing yards (2,321), third in touchdowns (17), has only thrown 3 interceptions on the entire season. Carr also leads the league in pass attempts while completing 66.3 percent of his passes. This is a pass happy offense Bill Musgrave runs in Oakland. The Raiders leading rusher currently ranks 29th in yards which suggests that he hasn’t had a ton of help in the ground game either. Carr’s value goes far beyond his statistics.
No one plays with more fire at the quarterback position than Carr. You can just tell when you watch the games this Raider football team just rallies behind him. This Raiders team is young and his leadership qualities benefit this team in ways the normal fan just can’t see. Oakland only has one starter on the entire offense over the age of 30. Carr, 25, has grown with this young team. Amari Cooper is an emerging star at the receiver position. Micheal Crabtree looks like a completely different person in Oakland. This list really goes on. Without Carr you could make the case that this is a 5 win team. With Carr they looked poised to win the AFC West. A division that could be the toughest in football featuring the defending champion Broncos, playoff contender Kansas City, and the Chargers who are also tough to beat. Let’s not forget Oakland defensively is currently the worst in the NFL in yards allowed. Carr isn’t getting the best support system, he just finds a way to win.
When you try to stack up the competition who really stands out. Tom Brady is on pace for another great season but missed 4 games where the team won 3 without him. Matthew Stafford has had a really good season but his team is unlikely to make the playoffs. In today’s NFL it is almost a guarantee the MVP award goes to a quarterback. The only real competition thus far is Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. You can obviously make the case for Ryan but considering he has Julio Jones, an outstanding ground attack, and an NFL ready offensive coordinator. Ryan also plays in a dome that has been proven to help the offense. Atlanta also plays in the NFC South where the rest of the teams have gone 8-13 while the other AFC West teams have gone 14-9. The answer is simple, Derek Carr is your league MVP.