Record as starter: 2-11
The good news: Derek Carr, a second-round pick from Fresno State, is getting great experience. He is the only rookie quarterback to start every game this season. Yes, it has been rocky, but Carr is persevering. The Raiders think he will become a franchise quarterback. He is gritty, tough, has arm strength and and moves well. Through 14 games, he has completed 60.5 percent of his passes from 2,676 yards with 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. The NFL game is not too big for David Carr’s little brother. He is a strong leader and his confidence has not wavered despite losing. His coaches and teammates love him. He is accountable and inspirational.
The bad news: He is a typical rookie. He is inconsistent. He is not great under pressure and sometimes his mechanics waver. For the season, he is 26th in the NFL with a 44.9 Total QBR. But this a player who will grow. And let’s face it: He doesn’t have a world-class offense around him. Carr will surely benefit from roster additions in the coming years.
Best game: Carr was terrific in a Week 14 upset over Bay Area rival San Francisco. He threw three touchdown passes, all on third down. He was 9-of-10 on third down. Carr completed 5 of 6 passes for 79 yards and a touchdown against the 49ers' blitz. It was his highest completion percentage (83.3), yards per attempt (13.2) and QBR (93.0) against the blitz this season. Carr was as comfortable as he has been all season as he took advantage of a strong San Francisco defense. Carr has had a few good days. But he was so sharp, so clutch, so comfortable in Week 14. He looked like he turned the corner. We will see.
Worst game: The most impressive fact about Carr’s play against the 49ers was that it came a week after his worst performance. He was dreadful in a 52-0 loss at St. Louis, going 24-for-39 passing for 173 yards and two interceptions. He compiled a 50.5 passer rating, the lowest mark of his season. The entire Oakland team was awful. But Carr did nothing to help. He threw short all game and had no rhythm. He was spooked by the Rams’ swarming defense and he looked very much like a rookie.
Overall grade: C+
Carr hasn’t been great; he hasn’t been terrible. He is a rookie on a bad team. He’s doing a nice job, all things considered, and there is hope for the future.