2017 Grade: .481
2017 3rd Down: .278
Week 1 at Tennessee: Derek Carr always falls somewhere between brilliant performance and a product-of-the-system. The Raiders run so many fades/back shoulder concepts to the boundary against man coverage that Carr doesn’t make many tough reads. He is, however, very accurate on these passes. He dropped a seed for a touchdown to Seth Roberts and a dime on the pass that set-up the TD. He missed a couple of throws, particularly on third down, but he was sharp most of the day.
Week 2 vs New York Jets: Derek Carr continues to conduct the best offense in football with ease. His arching sideline throws are easy for Michael Crabtree to snatch, and his patience to allow clear-out routes for check downs open up huge after the catch opportunities. In this game he was poised, accurate, and didn’t make any mistakes. He trusts his eyes more in the middle of the field as he gains experience in the league.
Week 3 at Washington: Raiders fans aren’t used to seeing their time mop up garbage time the last two years, but Derek Carr’s final two possessions were irrelevant (14 unregistered drop backs.) During the plays that counted, the Redskins corners were stingy, the pass rush was ferocious, and Derek Carr was out of rhythm all night. His first interception was a bad read, but the other two were fantastic plays by the defense. Carr threw a fourth pass that could’ve been picked off and probably returned 100 yards for a score.
Week 4 at Denver: Denver’s secondary, for the most part, manhandled the Raiders vaunted receiving corps. It’s a different game for the Raiders when Michael Crabtree isn’t on the field to bail the passing game out with his 50/50 ball prowess. Under siege for most of the afternoon, Carr couldn’t finish the game after a back injury puts him on the sideline for approximately a month. His 64-yard touchdown pass was an absolute dime.
Week 6 vs. LA Chargers: The only success in the Oakland passing game were vertical route, clear-out dump offs to the backs, and two leaping catches by Seth Roberts in the middle of the field. Last year, I wrote that Oakland’s excellent offensive line, and the ability of Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper to high-point 50/50 balls was the primary success of the offense. With each of those elements lacking, the offense has suddenly bogged down. Carr’s two picks were equal blame on the receivers, but he only made one plus play in this game (two points on a throw to Roberts across his body).