Over the last two seasons, many wondered if Jon Gruden (and Mike Mayock) would eventually try to upgrade the quarterback situation for the Raiders. While Derek Carr has had some nice seasons, it appeared he had pleated.
However, one reason why the Raiders did stick with him this year is that Carr has progressed in each of the last two seasons under Gruden. Another year of growth, along with an improved wide receiver corps, could make him one of the top-10 quarterbacks in the NFL And that is exactly what played out for Carr and the Raiders.
Not only did Carr have the most passing yards of his career, but he also finished the season with a passer rating of 101.4. He also set career-highs in yards per attempt (7.9) and adjusted yards per attempt (8.2). In a recent article by Pro Football Focus, he finished as the site’s No. 8 passer on the season:
“We suggested that Carr could benefit from a more aggressive style before the start of the 2020 season, and that’s precisely what happened in 2020. He increased his average depth of target from 6.9 yards to 9.1, and we saw 20 more big-time throws against just six more turnover-worthy plays. Carr posted his best passing grade since 2016, and the Raiders’ offense developed into one of the league’s best.”
Considering all of the injuries at wide receiver and on the offensive line that Carr had to deal with in 2020, this was an awfully impressive season by him. While the team could stand to improve in their red zone offense and needs to be more consistent from game-to-game, Carr has proven that he is a franchise quarterback.
If the Raiders can continue to add and improve at wide receiver this offseason, there isn’t anything preventing Carr from moving up this list in 2021. It’s pretty clear that he’s a great fit in Gruden’s offense and the longer these two are together, the better it is for the direction of the franchise.