While the Raiders bask in the glow of their city debut, Derek Carr will look across the field and see a goal. Drew Brees, in the twilight of his career, can breathe. With adulation and a gold jacket waiting in Canton, Brees, in essence, plays with house money. Meanwhile, Carr carries the weight of unfulfilled expectations and the hopes of a long-suffering fanbase. Although they don’t play each other directly, if Carr leads the Raiders to a win, that will keep the critics at bay, for at least a week.
Make no mistake, Derek Carr is physically superior to Drew Brees in every metric. Carr’s arm talents float near the elite level. When he plants his feet and remembers his mechanics, the ball flies out of his hands. Without a doubt, Carr can make every throw on the tree. On the perimeter, Brees is nowhere near the threat Carr could be. Carr flashes the potential to move the pocket, gliding across the field on rollouts.
Granted, for all of Carr’s talents, Brees holds the mental edge. That is to say, he appears to process the game in various ways, at a more rapid rate. First, while Brees prefers a clean pocket, he stays within the limits of his athleticism. You won’t see him shaking off the defender and breaking many long runs.
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In fact, he’s rushed for twenty yards on a carry only twice. Instead, he will sit in the pocket and attempt to do damage there. Brees knows the pressure will move closer to him. Yet, you won’t see happy feet or panic. Next, the aggression sets Brees miles apart from Carr. Fifteen or his twenty seasons saw Brees tally more than 7.5 yards per attempt fifteen times. If you combine that with his 67.6 percent completion percentage, that spins the tale of a risktaker with touch. Meanwhile, Carr gained accuracy in Gruden’s offense but occasionally show you those glimpses.
On Sunday, Derek Carr will throw against veteran corners. Yet, for their ballskills, they each possess the gambling aspect. Janoris Jenkins, despite his age (31) maintains a sticky coverage style that lends itself to being a shutdown corner. Eight of his twenty-four interceptions are pick-sizes.
However, the metrics aren’t in his favor. In the last three seasons, he allowed ten touchdowns and a 64 percent completion. Additionally, Jenkins missed 25 missed tackles over the last three seasons. As odd as this sounds, Carr needs to target Jenkins, picking on him. Since 2017, Jenkins racked up seven DPI and ten defensive holding penalties. Regardless of whether Ruggs, Edwards, Renfrow, whoever, Derek Carr must test Janoris Jenkins. While Jenkins can step in front to house one, He will give up long plays, if not scores.
This Monday, the only thing Derek Carr must do is embrace a bit of the Brees aggression. On top of that, don’t fear the shootout. The Saints do not possess an elite defense, so, going toe-tit-toe with Dree Breess actually looks like a viable option.