Derek Carr’s 2018 woes continued against the rival Los Angeles Chargers, as the Oakland Raiders signal-caller even threw an intentionally complete pass on fourth down.
When you are trailing 20-6 in the fourth quarter, are facing 4th and 5 and simply chuck a pass into the ground intentionally, it’s bad news.
Well, Derek Carr and the Raiders are bad, bad news for their fans.
Yes, on a do-or-die play in scoring range, Carr elected to throw the ball into the turf when the Chargers hungry defensive front flushed the quarterback out of the pocket on a screen play.
It has been a horrific season for the Raiders, as this team has taken a major step back under new, high-priced head coach Jon Gruden. Carr was expected to return to his MVP form under Gruden, but he’s been playing the least effective football of his career. Oakland has been reduced to tanking this year, cutting ties with key players Amari Cooper and Bruce Irvin during the regular season, as it is a favorite to secure the first-overall pick in 2019.
Carr hasn’t been good this season, evidenced by his 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Still, it’s also unfair not to point a critical finger at the offensive line, which has allowed 17 sacks over the past four games. It’s an incredible number considering the Raiders run an offense that mostly requires quick passes and yards after the catch.
For the year, Carr’s stats of 7.8 yards per attempt on a 72.8 completion percentage coming into this game. On the surface, those are solid numbers, but Carr’s stats are inflated by garbage-time numbers. The reality is that the Raiders are 1-7, struggle to score touchdowns, and have a quarterback with a 10:8 TD:INT ratio that has clearly regressed in an offense that is mostly led by Doug Martin and Jalen Richard with “top” wide receiver Jordy Nelson failing to produce.
There may be silver linings for Oakland’s season, especially if the Raiders can find some way to get Carr to turn it around. But with so little confidence in the offensive line and Richard essentially operating as Carr’s favorite target as a check-down option, the 2018 season looks like a lost cause for both Carr and the Raiders.
Getting production out of Carr, who was once one of the NFL’s most promising quarterbacks, should be Gruden’s priority, but it’s performances like this that have to worry Raiders fans about the future of their quarterback and organization as a whole.