ALAMEDA, Calif. -- It appears plain to the naked eye -- Derek Carr is not comfortable when facing pressure in the pocket -- and the numbers prove it.
Consider: Carr has the largest difference in passer ratings when kept clean (101.4) and when pressured (41.4), the 60-point difference the largest in the NFL among 37 quarterbacks with at least 150 dropbacks this season, per Pro Football Focus.
And that’s just this season.
A year ago, when Carr got the Oakland Raiders off to a 12-3 start before suffering a season-ending broken leg, he seemed to thrive while under duress.
In 2016, Carr completed 47 percent of his passes and had a 6.3 yards per attempt average, four touchdown passes and four interceptions and was sacked 16 times when under pressure, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
This season? Carr has completed 44 percent of his passes and has a 5.3 yards per attempt average with one TD and 3 INTs and has been sacked 17 times thus far.
Then there’s this -- Carr has a 3.3 QBR when pressured this season, which ranks 31st among 33 qualified quarterbacks. Only Chicago Bears rookie Mitch Trubisky (3.2) and the Denver Broncos’ Trevor Siemian (2.8) have been worse.
Looking for a flash point? Look no further than A) Carr suffering the broken leg or B) the Raiders replacing Bill Musgrave with Todd Downing as offensive coordinator.
Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said he did not think Carr had lost any confidence in his offensive line. He just wants to see Carr and the offense play more “boldly” and make plays going forward, starting Sunday night against the Dallas Cowboys at the Oakland Coliseum.
“I’d love to see us just let it rip, OK, and go play,” Del Rio said. “Talked about hair on fire, talked about that kind of effort and energy, playing fast, that’s what I believe in, and I’d love to see it more often.”
Del Rio might also like to see Carr stand taller in the pocket longer.
As PFF notes, after going 0-for-7 on deep passes (throws of at least 20 yards) in Sunday’s 26-15 loss at the Kansas City Chiefs, Carr is just 15-for-53 on deep passes on the season, ranking 30th in the NFL with a 58.6 passer rating when throwing deep.
“We had some opportunities that we just did not connect on,” Carr said. “Just can’t happen. There is no easy way to go through this one. This one sucked.
“Can I play better? Yes, that is every game. I get patted on the back when I throw for 300 yards, but I could tell you 15 plays that I screwed up. I can play better all of the time. That is the life of this business, especially when you lose.”