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.
Overview: 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.