By all accounts, Derek Carr can lead the Raiders to lofty heights. With Gruden designing the scheme, Carr’s path seems on an upward trend. If you dive deep into his stats, you will notice disturbing trends that Gruden will fix.
First Quarter Woes
During his 62-game career, Carr’s first quarter numbers remain his worst. Connecting on just sixty percent of his passes, Carr cannot seem to begin well. Not to mention, his number of attempts (460) is the lowest of any quarter. Yet, the accuracy is just not there. In addition, Carr’s ten picks feel like he is rushing.
Under Gruden, the Raiders will stick to the run. In previous years, poor scheming and play design placed Carr in difficult situations. If Gruden brings his meticulous attention to detail, Carr’s looks will feature safe throws that will still net chunk yardage.
Late Season Blues
On the back of the slow first quarter struggles, another fact remains clear. Derek Carr’s numbers dip late in the season. From games 9-12 to 13-16, Carr’s completion percentage and wins fall. Why? Some would want to argue that more often than not, the Raiders are not in contention. However, a 7-9 campaign and 6-9 bracketed a 12-3 year. In 2017, despite atrocious team play, the Raiders hung around the boundaries of the playoffs for much of the latter part of the season.
If you look at Carr’s game logs, his nemesis rears its ugly head. Going winless in Kansas City late in seasons haunts the Raiders. For a myriad of reasons, Carr cannot win in Kansas City. Whether it is the defense of the pressure Andy Reid’s offense places on the Raiders to match them, the losses exist.
Fortunately, Jon Gruden knows Andy Reid, his tendencies and schemes as well as anyone. Moreover, Gruden owns a playoff road victory over Reid. With this is mind, Carr’s winter improvements could start as soon as this year.
On balance, Derek Carr can and should be a vastly improved player under Jon Gruden. Accuracy remains a bugaboo. While drops surfaces as a main issue, some of the fault resides with the passer. The Raiders need Carr to finish games and seasons strong.