NFL, Oakland Raiders

Derek Carr is facing the pivot point of his career this season

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is entering a pivotal 2020 NFL season. 

When Derek Carr first came under center for the Raiders in 2014, he was able to show off some impressive skills in his rookie campaign, ending the year with 3270 passing yards and a completion percentage of 58.1. Despite Carr’s play, the Raiders still had a horrible year and finished with a record of 3-13, good for one of the worst records in the NFL that year.

Carr has still shown off his individual quarterback talent since that season, but the Raiders have only made it to the playoffs once since he took over. And in many of these seasons, the Raiders have put up pretty lackluster records, such as 6-10 in 2017 and 4-12 in 2018.

This does not all fall on Carr, who was named to the Pro-Bowl squad in 2015, 2016, and even 2017. 

But in more recent seasons, Carr’s commitment to the team and his toughness have been thrown into question as the Raiders continue to struggle under head coach Jon Gruden, who was expected to turn the team around.

Carr’s numbers are impressive, but he still hasn’t led his team to success 

Although the Raiders have had mediocre seasons in Gruden’s first two years, Carr has still put up impressive statistics, ending each of those seasons with over 4000 passing yards.

But, as his critics point out, lots of his passing numbers come from easy check down passes, in which he ranks for third most among all other NFL quarterbacks. Also, in the 2018 season the Raiders started out with a record of 1-8, and during this stretch Carr threw 10 interceptions while throwing the same number of touchdowns.

Then in 2019, the Raiders again had a poor season, ending the year with a 7-9 record where Carr ended up throwing for 21 touchdowns, the second lowest in his career and the same amount he threw in his rookie campaign.

Many have called for Carr to be removed and for someone else to fill in at quarterback. Gruden apparently heard some of these calls and decided to bring in former Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota to be a backup. Although Mariota is listed behind Carr, everyone knows that he is meant to serve as a wake up call to Carr telling him that he must improve or be replaced by another quarterback who has had success in the past.

Now, with Mariota breathing down his neck, Carr faces a do or die season in which he must perform or be benched in favor of the Heisman Trophy winner.

Next: James Washington a huge wild card for the Steelers

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