The pressure is on for Derek Carr. After an offseason of Tom Brady rumors, whispers of targeting a quarterback in the NFL draft and moving to Las Vegas, the Raiders QB has to produce this season.
Well, here's some good news. Despite all the naysayers and Carr's critics, he actually was the third-best quarterback under pressure in the entire league last season, according to NFL Media's Nick Shook.
Carr's 103.7 passer rating under pressure sits one spot ahead of MVP Lamar Jackson, who had a 93.1 passer rating under pressure, in Shook's top 10. The six-year veteran's 66.7 completion percentage under pressure actually was the best of any qualifying quarterback, and his plus-5.9 completion percentage above expectation was better than QBs like Jackson and Drew Brees.
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These numbers also are an indication of what the Raiders' offense can be under Jon Gruden. Carr targeted open receivers 56.9 percent of the time under pressure. No other quarterback was even close on Shook's list.
Now imagine Carr with better weapons. Due to injuries and the never-ending Antonio Brown saga, his receiving corps wasn't even close to what Gruden and Co. hoped for. But changes were made this offseason.
Carr could be primed for a career year this season as the Raiders move to Sin City. He already is building chemistry with his receivers in Vegas, too. The Silver and Black selected receivers Henry Ruggs III and Bryan Edwards in the draft, and rookie Lynn Bowden Jr. could be the perfect versatile weapon for Carr.
The Raiders still are waiting for Carr to win the big game and make them contenders. Entering his seventh season, he now has the talent around him to do so, and showed last season how well he can perform under pressure.