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Derek Carr had arguably the best season in his career in 2021, throwing for nearly 5,000 yards and leading the Raiders to the playoffs. It wasn’t always easy, but he made the plays to get them in a position to win games.
One way that Carr stood out last year compared to his peers was due to his deep passing ability. On a number of occasions, he connected on deep throws, including one to Zay Jones to beat the Ravens in Week 1. He had another against Pittsburgh in Week 2 to Henry Ruggs that allowed them to upset the Steelers.
So where does Carr rank among the best downfield passers in the league? In a recent article by Nick Shook and the NFL’s Next Gen Stats, he ranked the top 10 deep passers in the NFL from the 2021 season. Not surprisingly, Carr was on the list, coming in at No. 9. Here is what Shook had to say about his 2021 season:
“In the face of persistent hardship, Carr stood tall in the pocket, racking up 806 deep passing yards from inside the tackle box. Against the blitz, Carr completed 50 percent of his deep pass attempts for the most deep passing yards (420) on such attempts in the NFL.
He was one of just six qualified quarterbacks in the NFL to post a completion percentage of 50 or better on such attempts and tied for the most touchdowns with four. His CPOE of 15.8 in this area was the fifth-highest in the league.”
Carr has always been one of the best deep-ball quarterbacks in the NFL, so it will be fascinating to see how he fits in Josh McDaniels’ offense that relies more on quick throws and precision.
Still, expect the Raiders to take plenty of shots down the field again in 2022 as Carr has proven that he is among the best in the NFL at connecting on throws over 30+ yards.