Derek Carr is tired of being disrespected, and that’s why he’s playing in the 2020 NFL season. He wants to use that chip on his shoulder to do something he hasn’t done since the 2016 season: threaten to become an elite passer.
The problem is, Carr isn’t being disrespected. He’s respected the appropriate amount for his play — however, that level seems to fall short of the adulation he desires.
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In many conventional ways of measuring quarterback play, Carr does in fact look very good, so you can easily see why he might view himself as better than the general perception of his play. He finished the 2019 season with a 70.4% completion rate, 7.9 yards per attempt, a 100.8 NFL passer rating, 4,000 passing yards, and 21 touchdowns to just eight interceptions. His career touchdown to interception ratio is higher than 2 to 1, and his career completion percentage (64%) is one of the best in the history of the game (15th, one spot ahead of Tom Brady).
To Carr’s credit, his overall level of play was pretty good last year. He produced the second-best PFF overall grade (79.9) of his career, and it was the first time he had surpassed 75.0 since injury derailed the one truly impressive season on his resume (2016, an 85.3 grade). The problem is how that grade is compiled and the overwhelming feeling that when the chips are down, he is not the player who will drag his team out of the fire. This is a quarterback whose most memorable play might now be throwing the ball away on fourth down deep in the red zone.