Raider Nation received a serious blow last week when the team lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 40-25. The loss sent fans into a tailspin, with diehards frothing at the mouth with claims that Derek Carr is not an elite-level quarterback and needs to be taken out of the game.
Now, this ignores several different factors. First, Derek Carr went 24 of 36 for 284, two touchdowns, and one interception. That might not sound like the best day In the world for an elite-level quarterback, but remember, they were up against the third-best defense in the league.
Speaking of defense, the Las Vegas Raiders have proven time and time again that they don’t have a top-level defense or at least aren’t showing it at the moment. While it is fair to say that the defense has made significant gains throughout the season, even knocking off defending Super Bowl champions, Chiefs, a 45-20 blowout is not a playoff-worthy performance.
Look, Carr shouldn't have complicated matters with an interception during that game, but that doesn't mean he needs to be benched! Keep in mind that he has been without key receiver, Henry Ruggs III multiple times throughout the season, and hasn’t had much support from Josh Jacobs.
Tack on to that the fact that the Raiders have one of the worst defenses in the NFL, and you can start to see where Derek Carr is no longer the problem. The defense isn’t helping Carr by blowing leads and letting the opposing offense pile up the score.
If we want to take a fair and accurate assessment of the Las Vegas Raiders, the blame lies with everyone. This is why it’s insane to think that the Raiders need to substitute Carr for Mariota. One could even argue that putting in Mariota would result in a loss of production for the Raiders and put them out of the running for the playoffs.
Think about it! This is a defense that gives up 400 yards a game, has given up over 2000 yards this season, and give up an average of 32 points a game. This is essentially a defense that is dead on arrival.
Fans seem to be having a problem figuring out what’s wrong. They think that if Derek Carr could just be Tom Brady or Patrick Mahones, everything else wouldn’t matter. Unfortunately for those that want to think that way, they don’t understand that it is a combination of injuries, quality opponents, a lack of run game, and a less than stellar wide receiver core that is the problem.