When looking back at the Las Vegas Raiders’ 2022 season, it’s hard not to think about how the relationship between Derek Carr and the franchise deteriorated so quickly.
The offense looked fine for most of the year, though during their lulls Carr received the brunt of the blame. Carr had a particularly rough stretch toward the end of the season that led to his benching, a move that he admitted later really upset him.
The two sides eventually parted ways shortly after the 2022 campaign ended, allowing Carr to sign a lucrative deal with the New Orleans Saints. Las Vegas found his successor when they signed Jimmy Garoppolo in free agency, reuniting him with Josh McDaniels who will surely enjoy working with someone who he’s had previous success with.
Carr served as a popular scapegoat for some fans and media members, but NFL legend Michael Irvin believes that the Raiders’ defense deserves some blame as well via Mike Dixon of Vegas Sports Today:
“I got to see that play out, Garoppolo had an early great start in New England. He’ll be coming back in that offense, he knows it, that’ll be helpful for him. The Raiders’ problem wasn’t always Carr, their problem was their defense a lot of the time. They would put up a lot of points on other teams, but the defense couldn’t hold up.”
It’s no secret that Las Vegas’ defense has been one of the poorer units across the league, struggling to slow down opponents in key moments of games. The offense has generally done a good job of scoring but oftentimes needs to play at an elite level to compensate for a leaky defense.
Las Vegas is banking on another elite season from Maxx Crosby as well as meaningful contributions from some of their young defensive talent in order to right the ship on that side of the field. Without Carr left for some to aim their frustrations at, there will be more pressure on the defense to step up and get the job done.
Maxx Crosby a fan of Jimmy Garoppolo trash talking
Garoppolo was unable to workout much with the team over the offseason due to a foot procedure he had done earlier this year. However, the quarterback is back in action for training camp where he has already made his presence felt.
Crosby noted that Garoppolo’s already been trash-talking the defense and is a fan of him doing it.