Here’s something most NFL fans didn’t expect to read after Week2 of the season: Raiders QB Derek Carr currently leads the league in passing yards.
At 817 yards, Carr stands 128 yards higher than his second place competitor Kyler Murray, who has racked up 689. Carr has also thrown 4 touchdowns and 1 interception with a 66.7% completion percentage.
“I just let his performance speak for itself… I’ve been clamoring about Derek Carr since I’ve been here,” head coach Jon Gruden said in a press conference after the Raiders win on Sunday.
With all the speculation from the media regarding Derek Carr in recent years, one thing that’s remained solid is Gruden’s support for Carr. The team has stood by Carr and it looks like that decision is paying off this year.
“Hopefully he gets some recognition for what he did today. He had some long drives, he was big again at the end of the game against two great defenses two weeks in a row. And it’s a big reason why we’ve been able to win,” Gruden went on to say.
Gruden is spot-on. Derek Carr has delivered twice this season against two very impressive defenses, and his passing yard stats reflect that. But Carr is certainly not doing it all himself. There are plenty of names on the offense stepping up as well.
LT Kolton Miller has been the only stable part of the offensive line so far. Kolton has tallied the most pass blocking snaps in the league this year without allowing a sack, at 101. WR Hunter Renfrow has been doing Hunter Renfrow things, and it seems like every time the offense needs somebody to step up, Renfrow is there.
Henry Ruggs III has been having an impressive sophomore campaign, with 159 yards and a touchdown on 12 catches in two games. He obviously has some room to grow, but it sure seems like he’s improving on his rookie season.
“It’s really fun,” Carr said when asked about Ruggs. “You all saw some of them in training camp, some of those throws, like, I shouldn’t even throw them, but I just throw them past the coverage and [Ruggs] goes and gets them. Like even [the 61-yard touchdown], it’s still an iffy decision, but I can throw it past the coverage in some instances.”
“It’s unbelievable. The one I threw him, he just looks at it, and you just see this gear that not a lot of human beings have. And it makes it fun for me.”
WR Bryan Edwards has been much more reliable in his second year as well, and he’s proving his ability to make contested catches. Darren Waller has continued to be an unstoppable force in the Raiders offense, and 100-yard games from him have become commonplace.
Even with the offensive line’s woes, Carr has utilized these weapons and turned them into a very effective offense. PFF gives Carr the fourth highest passer rating in the league, at 82.5. They put Carr tied atop the league in big time throws, along with Kyler Murray, with nine. These throws are labeled as passes that are either deep down the field, into a tight window or both.
With all of these stats, it’s no surprise Carr has found himself in the early-season MVP race as well:
Obviously, it’s far too early in the season to be worrying about an MVP race. Still, it’s encouraging for the Raiders to see Carr on this list, and he’s well deserving of being on it. Some key contributors on offense have helped vault Carr into this conversation, and the team as a whole starting 2-0 on the year is undoubtedly a part of that. It will be interesting to see if Carr can keep this performance up as the year continues.
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