Watching the Las Vegas Raiders play their worst game since moving to Sin City left many wondering how Derek Carr remains susceptible to multi-fumble, dreary performances. Throughout his first 11 games of the season, Carr tallied eleven fumbles.
Sometimes, fumbles appear unavoidable, but many of Carr’s issues emanate from poor ball security. Following his four combined fumble performance games from Weeks 2-3, the Buffalo Bills looked to simply swat the ball out of Carr’s hands. However, he held strong, as it was something he clearly worked on. Before the game against the Falcons, Carr went two secure games. Now, it appears Carr’s practice regiments will include a plethora of “pool noodle” drills to reinforce security.
While Carr’s four total turnovers (three fumbles, one interception), the Raiders still had enough drives to score more than six points, but there is more to it than just the turnovers. As fans saw following Carr’s season-ending injury in 2016, when things break down, Carr spirals, . In these multi-fumble games, the overly-cautious Carr emerges. Pass attempts find closer targets. Also, Carr looks jumpy and anxious.
The problem is that without his confidence, he becomes an average quarterback. Obviously, with his confidence, he is undoubtedly one of the top tier quarterbacks in the NFL. But, when Carr’s mind is focused on not getting hit instead of dominating, he struggles and the team follows suit.
A mid-game fix for these issues has yet to be discovered unless Carr can find himself getting back on a roll, and that is the reason these games might get out of hand quicker than they should.
Derek Carr’s mind is a blessing and a curse. At the top of his game, his mind and his mentality set him apart from the rest. He has dedicated the season to the late Kobe Bryant (hence the arm sleeve) and the Mamba Mentality flows through him when he finds his flow.
The best way to keep Carr in this mindset is to establish and maintain a healthy, consistent offensive line. Fans have seen how Carr is strict with those he trusts at wide receiver, and the same applies for offensive linemen. When Carr does not trust a certain side of the line, he noticeably trends in the opposite direction. Derek Carr has the talent to bring his team back from any deficit, but his mindset can be the factor holding him back.