Derek Carr has run out of excuses and will be playing for his future with the Raiders in 2020.
Derek Carr has been through his fair share of ups and downs in his career with the now Las Vegas Raiders. The high points have been truly special, but the low points have made fans sour on him rather quickly.
It seems like ages ago that Carr seemed poised to lead a 12-4 Raiders team into the postseason and push for a Super Bowl appearance in what was a magical season for Raider Nation. Carr could have even been named league MVP.
But it all came crashing down soon after and Carr and the Raiders haven’t been the same since.
The excuses (many of them valid) have been made for Carr over the past few years since that his fateful injury. His offensive line wasn’t what it once was, the lack of a running game made things difficult, and most importantly, his receivers left a lot to be desired.
But now, all of that is seemingly in the past. Or at least, that’s what it looks like on paper.
Derek Carr will seemingly have no excuses heading into the 2020 season.
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Carr finally has an excellent run game led by rookie sensation Josh Jacobs. And his receiving corps is finally beginning to show some semblance of coordination.
Of course, the thought was that this would be the case last season. Unfortunately, that didn’t exactly go according to plan as free-agent signing Tyrell Williams‘ season was plagued by injuries and we all know what happened to Antonio Brown.
But a hopefully healthy Williams has been paired with first-round pick Henry Ruggs to hopefully create a dynamic downfield duo.
Throw in reliable slot receiver Hunter Renfrow, third-round pick Bryan Edwards, and other promising depth including the likes of Nelson Agholor and Zay Jones and you have all the makings of a quality receiver group.
And of course, we can’t discount the explosive Darren Waller who burst on to the scene last season establishing himself as one of the top receiving tight ends in the NFL. The Raiders love their tight ends, but they need a receiver or two to step up in 2020.
The last time a wide receiver led the Raiders in receiving was way back in 2016 — that magical season — when Amari Cooper totaled 1,153 yards on 83 catches. Now for the first time since that glorious season, a Raiders wide receiver topping 1,000 yards is very much a possibility.
Carr has a top-10 offensive line, a top-10 running game, and a receiver corps that has top-10 potential. Combine that with an improved defense and there’s no reason the Raiders shouldn’t compete for a playoff spot in 2020.
But their hopes all fall on Carr. There are no excuses this time around. No crutch to lean on when things get tough. It’s do or die.
Derek Carr will be given one final opportunity to prove that he’s the guy in 2020. And without any excuses to fall back on, it remains to be seen just how he will perform.