One of the early improvements Derek Carr has made in the first quarter of his second NFL season has been the way he has performed against the blitz.
However, the Oakland Raiders QB will likely be strongly tested Sunday against the visiting Denver Broncos. The Broncos are aggressive in their blitz schemes. Denver is blitzing on 37 percent of opponents’ dropbacks. That is the fifth highest rate in the NFL. Denver had seven sacks against Minnesota in Week 4.
Carr should expect a big increase in blitzing. In four games, he has been pressured just 13.4 percent of his dropbacks. It is the second-lowest rate in the NFL behind the Giants’ Eli Manning. He has been blitzed 12.8 percent of his dropbacks.
Carr has responded well when blitzed, though. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Carr has completed 7-of-13 passes for 146 yards and a touchdown while being rushed by five or more defenders. His 11.2 yards per attempt on such throws is the best in the league.
Last year, Carr was blitzed 35 percent of the time and his total QBR was 38. This year, it’s 69. Again, Carr hasn’t been blitzed much, but he’s getting better. Expect Denver to make Carr prove he is truly better against the blitz may making him deal with it often Sunday.