Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has developed into one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL in his third season, as he has led his team to a 4-1 record, which is tied for the AFC West lead to start the season.
Carr has been particularly impressive at the end of games, as the Raiders four wins have come by a combined 12 points and the Raiders have erased second half deficits in three of them.
He has thrown 11 touchdown passes this season, which ranks third among NFL quarterbacks with eight of those touchdowns coming in the second half of games and five coming in the fourth quarter.
Raiders first year coach Jack Del Rio has developed some trust in his signal caller, and according to Michael Wagaman of the Denver Post he is beginning to give him more freedom as far as changing plays at the line of scrimmage:
“As he’s made good decisions and made accurate throws, and in those situations, we give him more leeway to do those things,” Del Rio said. “He sees it. He can understand what leverage he’s getting. We don’t have to guess from the sideline and make a call and then try to make it perfect, in terms of execution. You can see what you see and make the adjustment and make a play.”
Carr is happy that his coaching staff has given him the ability to do that:
“That’s the way I love to play,” Carr said Wednesday. “I love having a lot put on my back. Any quarterback does. (Offensive coordinator Bill) Musgrave talks to me about his time with Matt Ryan, how he loved that and how we’re similar in that way. We just love that kind of stuff. I absolutely love it.”
Carr will face his toughest test yet defensively on Sunday when the Raiders host the Kansas City Chiefs.
Despite playing one less game than most teams as they had a bye in Week 5, Kansas City has eight interceptions on the season, the most in the NFL.