Stop the Stanning
It is hard for me to remember an issue more divisive than the future of Derek Carr with the Raiders. For the past year or so I’ve been writing the end is near for Carr and there is not much he can do about it. Carr is a fine enough quarterback, unfortunately, games like the last two weeks show us that he is not elite nor enough to put this young team on his back. That’s OK. It’s a reality.
D.C. will always be my guy. He’s statistically one of the best quarterbacks in franchise history. For the better part of six years, Carr has been our only hope.
However, those days are numbered. It’s not all on Carr but this team doesn’t have the time to wait for Carr to take a leap he should have already taken. This team is already in the middle of a soft rebuild and relocating. Carr might be the captain that steadies this ship but he has taken it as far as he can go. Somebody else is needed to take this team to the promise land.
Nonethless, Carr stannery is weird and unnecessary. I’ve always kind of swam against the mass of Raider Nation, for better or worse. However, Carr is more divisive than Rolando McClain, Kahlil Mack’s trade, Amari Cooper, Aldon Smith, Darren McFadden and the laundry list of issues we argue about.
I get it Carr shows flashes. He has the intangibles. But if it isn’t enough to win on the East Coast, in the cold or over the Chiefs than it does not matter.
The awkward part is the number of fans who would rather enable their favorite quarterback than face the facts.
No where in the Raiders Nation code of ethics does it say commitment to solid or good. It does not say just be mediocre baby.
The Raiders need to win and that starts with their signal-caller. Fans don’t need to PR or defend Carr. He is a grown-ass man, paid a ton of money. He knows how this game works. Carr saw his older brother go through it. He knows he is accountable and his win, loss record is not where it needs to be.
Granted Carr could turn everything around with a good game and by winning out. If Carr makes the playoffs he will certainly buy himself more time as the Silver and Black franchise player.
Either way, it might not be enough to erase the fact he is closer to game manager than an elite QB.
Win or Go Home versus Titans
Speaking of making it happen, Carr and the entire Raiders need a show out. Oakland still has a long shot at the playoffs if they win out. That is all void if they do not beat Tennessee first. The Titans are ahead of them in the standings.
It won’t be an easy feat. The Titans are running the ball well with Derrick Henry. Their offensive line is physical. Ryan Tannehill is playing well. The defense is sleeper good, especially if Harold Landry is drawing Brandon Parker as a consistent matchup at right tackle.
Still, Tennessee is beatable. They also draw the Saints and Texans twice so they are far from a lock for the playoffs.
This is a prime opportunity for the Raiders to redeem themselves. Their playoff hopes were looking good before that huge loss the the Jets. Now they are back at home and playing one of the hottest team’s in the league.
A win on Sunday could give the Raiders the confidence they need headed into a final playoff push.
It is going to take their defensive line having a huge game. Oakland’s defense has been my key for basically the entire season. Break out games for the unit like versus the Chargers result in wins.
Even average games aren’t enough when the offense struggles like they have the past two weeks. The defense has actually been solid enough to win the past two weeks. Too bad the offense put them in many bad spots and did no favors.
Still, the defensive line needs to force Tannehill into bad throws. They got to stay discipline too because one bad move and Henry is cutting it back to the house.
On offense, it is clear Josh Jacobs can’t do everything. He had a major game versus the Chiefs but it was not good enough largely due to bad play by Derek Carr and all the Raiders receivers.
Carr needs help from someone not named Jacobs or Waller. He needs one of his receivers to make a big play down the field.
Ultimately, the Raiders are built to pound the football and throw it deep to their receivers. That requires Carr to not turn the ball over as well as receivers getting separation and making a catch.
In the end, the Raiders will need Derek Carr to make a play. He should be able to outplay Ryan Tannehill at home with the season on the line. But if he doesn’t we might be having a different conversation next week.
It would be great if the Raiders could get both sides of the ball playing up to par at the same time. That’s what we need to do to beat the Titans and have any shot at the playoffs.