Nine games into the 2020 NFL season and the Raiders stand at 6-3. Derek Carr has just eclipsed 2,000 passing yards and his touchdown to interception total is 16-2. At this rate, Carr is on pace for 3,300 passing yards, 26 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions; an incredibly efficient statline. Despite his incredibly wise choices with his passes and highest average quarterback rating of his career, Derek Carr may never be an NFL MVP in this system.
Better Left Unsaid
Throughout the year, sporadic calls for MVP votes for Carr have been floating around, but the fans’ wishes have yet to be manifested. As the Raiders ride a comfortable three-game winning streak, Carr has averaged 143 passing yards per game. Under no circumstances is this a dragging of Carr, as he has been nearly perfect this season, but he does not fit the system of an MVP quarterback.
Difference in Approach
When Aaron Rodgers and the Packers have the lead in a game, their tendency is to continue passing and running up the score a bit, which is fine in the NFL, but this is not the Raiders gameplan. When Las Vegas finds themselves in the lead, the brakes are slammed on the offense and the Raiders decide to show their opponents every available running play in the team’s playbook. Obviously, when the Raiders are losing, they are more than happy to air the ball out, but pace slows to a crawl when in possession of a lead.
No Longer Stat Driven
While former MVPs have played in this style as well, the Raiders have been so incredibly strict about their running game, Carr’s passing total from the first half typically does not tend to continue trending upwards in the second half. Carr has all the talent and skills needed to hold the crown as NFL Most Valuable Player, but the stats do not rise to match this, which is completely fine.
Throughout his career, Carr has emphasized the importance of winning and has yet to show any inkling of stat-padding. In fact, the way things are going, Josh Jacobs may have a better chance of winning MVP than Carr, which it appears that Carr would be just as thrilled to have happen.
There is no desire or drive for Carr to win MVP. There is no doubt in my mind that Carr does not have a piece of tape in his locker implying a goal of winning MVP. Let the AP vote in Russell Wilson or whoever they want, RaiderNation will know that no one has been more valuable to the Raiders than Derek Carr. If the Raiders keep rolling, the most important award draws closer: a playoff spot. With the ground and pound mindset, the Raiders look like they’re built for the postseason.