Playing in New City and New Backup QB
Last season with the Raiders, Carr managed a career-best 4,054 passing yards and a 70.4 completion percentage playing behind a formidable group in the trenches. He also posted 21 touchdowns to only eight interceptions, showing his improved efficiency, but lack of gunslinger mentality.
Looking back to 2016, Carr excelled to a 12-3 record and a 28:6 touchdown to interception ratio while leading his team to a playoff berth.
This year, the team is making the long-awaited move to Las Vegas in which they will be playing four primetime games and will be the only professional football team in the state of Nevada. The glitz and glamor of Vegas will be a major adjustment, but it gives Carr another chance to shine in the spotlight as his team appears to be on the rise. Improving from 4-12 in 2018 to 7-9 last year is a step in the right direction, but expectations are high for both Carr and Gruden.
With that being said, the Raiders signed former No. 2 overall pick Marcus Mariota to be the new backup QB, which should raise a few eyebrows within the team. The 2014 Heisman-winner was famously beat out midseason in Tennessee by trade-acquisition Ryan Tannehill, who took a struggling squad all the way to the AFC Championship game.
This thought must be in the back of Carr’s mind if he doesn’t perform well early on, though he has had a much more consistent and successful career than Mariota ever mustered. This move could be shrugged off as an insurance policy in case of injury, but may be a motivating tool to help Carr take the leap into stardom.
With new weapons and the tools to succeed, expect a major breakout for Derek Carr in 2020.