With the 2018 regular season in the rearview mirror, and the 2019 Senior Bowl just a few weeks out, we’re starting our Position Review series.
First up is the Oakland Raiders quarterbacks; let’s take a look at Derek Carr and Co., see how they fared last year, and take just a quick look ahead to what 2019 could have in store for the group.
Headed into 2018, one of the biggest storylines surrounding the Silver and Black – and for sure the biggest question on the offensive side of the football – was how Derek Carr would do in Year 1 operating Head Coach Jon Gruden’s offense.
Well, as was to be expected, there were some growing pains, but the Derek Carr we saw down the stretch was a very different version of No. 4 than we saw the first half of the season.
Try this stat on for size: over the first eight games, Carr threw eight interceptions, but over the second half of the year, DC tossed just two, and both were in the Raiders season finale against the Kansas City Chiefs.
For those of you keeping track at home, Carr threw 333 attempts without an interception, spanning a majority of the 2018 regular season.
Collectively, I think we knew that there would be a learning curve in Year 1 of the Gruden/Carr tandem – that’s just the nature of the beast in the NFL – but it really was encouraging to see just how much the Raiders fifth-year quarterback progressed, and how much more comfortable he appeared, down the stretch of the season.
When all was said and done, while the collective results weren’t there for the Silver and Black this year, in many ways, Carr enjoyed a productive season under center.
Most importantly, No. 4 started all 16 games for the Raiders (the first time he went the distance since 2015), and his 4,049 passing yards were a career high, as was his 68.9 completion percentage.
While Carr started every game for the Raiders in ’18, his backup AJ McCarron – who the team acquired via trade in September – made two appearances in relief, completing one of his three pass attempts on the year.
The Number to Know:
As I said earlier, Carr enjoyed a career year in terms of passing yards, and in addition to surpassing the 4,000-yard mark for the first time in his career, his effort landed him squarely at the No. 2 slot on the franchise’s career passing leader list.
With 18,739 career passing yards, Carr now sits just 339 yards behind Ken Stabler for the most in Raiders history.
Position Group MVP:
This one’s not really close, it has to be Derek Carr.
Look, the wins just weren’t there for the Raiders this season, but that wasn’t because of the play of DC.
Not only did the Silver and Black’s quarterback have rookie tackles bookending his offensive line for nearly the duration of the year, but for much of 2018, he didn’t have the benefit of having any type of consistency out wide.
Following the team’s season finale against the Kansas City Chiefs, Carr said that 2018 was the most challenging of his career, but throughout all the ups and downs, No. 4 showed that his future with Jon Gruden and Co., is a bright one.
All three Raiders quarterbacks on the roster are currently under contract for 2019, and that includes former Buffalo Bill Nathan Peterman who was signed to a reserve/future deal on Jan. 1.
While Gruden and General Manager Mike Mayock will no doubt do their due diligence in upgrading the roster at every position, it certainly seems – as of now – that there’s some good stability in the quarterback’s room.
See the best images of quarterback Derek Carr during the Raiders' 2018 Season.