Blessed with his own talent and now a full compliment of weapons on offense, Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr shines in Week 1 in 34-30 win.
There’s no doubt Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has the ability and history of putting up numbers in Jon Gruden’s offense. Coming off a great statistical season, the only thing missing for the seventh-year player has been wins.
The Raiders Carr is off to a great start shining in a 34-30 win in Carolina that saw him, again, poised and efficient using as many weapons as he cold in the Raiders victory.
Carr finished the day 22-of-30 for 239 yards and a touchdown helping him now setting a new team record. Carr is now 23-10 in career games recording a passer rating of at least 100 (107.5 vs. Panthers) and surpassed Hall of Fame Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler in doing so. Carr led the Raiders from behind for the win for the 19th time in the fourth quarter during this career.
For the Raiders Carr, he was able to utilize the full extent of his offensive firepower. We take a look at how he did it.
The Raiders spent the off-season trying to build off of 2019 where they saw young players like Josh Jacobs, Hunter Renfrow, and Darren Waller deliver. The team added a slew of young players but the Raiders Carr utilized Jacobs in the passing game significantly for the first time in his NFL career. Jacobs converted on multiple third-down conversions through the air helping the Raiders all afternoon. Jacobs finished the day with four receptions for 46 yards in addition to his 25 carries for 93 yards on the ground. Waller and Renfrow also contributed and converted on a combined five first downs. The quantity of receptions might not have been high, but the contribution was vital to the Raiders Carr succeeding on offense.
Upgraded WR Room
The Raiders spent the off-season upgrading the WR room and it paid off in Week 1.
Rookie Henry Ruggs III was on pace for a record-setting day before having to leave in the first half due to a minor injury. However, his speed was apparent throughout the afternoon and the Raiders Carr has to be happy to have him as a pass-catcher but also as a decoy in other situations. Ruggs’ 42-yard catch in the first quarter set up the initial touchdown for the Raiders. The Raiders will continue to utilize Ruggs’ speed in the gameplan moving forward and it also helped free up other receivers for the Raiders.
Although rookie Bryan Edwards was thought to be a target for the Raiders Carr in Week 1, instead Nelson Agholor stole the show. The Eagles cast off scored a huge touchdown and had many crucial blocks throughout the game. The veteran addition Agholor connected with Carr on a 23-yard touchdown pass as well.
“In the huddle, he came to me and said: If you come to me, just throw it in the end zone, I got it,'” Carr said of the play that led to the Agholor score. “And I said: I can do that. Having a guy like that is nice because he not only has that confidence in the game but in training camp so I’m excited about him.”
Edwards wasn’t a major factor but did well with his blocking assignments – including two of the Josh Jacobs touchdowns.
Carr’s Individual Performance
With the new mix of proven veterans, and young talent, the Raiders Carr had one of his best games in Gruden’s tenure. While his individual numbers don’t jump off the page, he was the perfect game manager leading his team from behind yet again to a victory.
Carr connected early with Ruggs, until the injury, finding a good rhythm with the rookie. The added speed and athleticism, combined with the veterans taking the leap, the Raiders Carr has weapons galore on offense to create perhaps a very special year for him and his team.
While Josh Jacobs may have been the individual star of today’s game, Carr shined as a polished veteran quarterback poised to have another breakout year reminicsent of his 2016 season.
Yes it’s only one week, but the Raiders Carr is off to a great start and that’s a very good sign for the Las Vegas offense.