• Crissy Froyd

What does the Raiders' QB situation look like heading into 2020?

The winds of change are blowing at full force for the Las Vegas Raiders as they prepare to make their move from Oakland in 2020 -- granted that everything goes as planned in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

The quarterback play of Derek Carr has been suspect, and the team brought on former Tennessee Titans signal-caller Marcus Mariota this offseason to help create what could make for a heated competition at the position.

Mariota is expected to push Carr, but could it eventually turn into something more than that?

Here's a look at the two quarterbacks, and how things could ultimately shake out for the team this year.

Derek Carr

Carr essentially had no more than a slot receiver and a tight end as targets last season, but that doesn't change the fact the Raiders went 7-9 with him at the helm after going 4-12 in the previous year.

It's clear that the Raiders aren't winning with Carr, but it's important to raise the question of how much of a factor he's actually been in the team's misfortune.

As far as his individual stats line -- things looked good.

Carr completed 70.4% of his passes for 4,054 yards with 21 touchdowns and eight interceptions. But, Carr also only threw the ball an average of 6.3 yards downfield on his attempts, the second-lowest in NFL last season, according to Pro Football Network.

The ball went for an average of 4.9 yards in the air, despite his average of 11.2 yards gained per pass completion, indicating that his receivers' yards after catch played a great role in his stats.

Carr hasn't found his magic since the 2016 season, and it seems there's been an excuse for why he isn't the problem in every year after that.

Will Carr ever truly prove to be an asset in his own right?

Marcus Mariota

Mariota made clear early on that this is still Carr's team, and that he'll be serving as the backup. It's almost reminiscent of when Ryan Tannehill joined the Tennessee Titans on a one-year deal as no more than an insurance policy for Mariota.

That's not to say the same situation will shake out in Las Vegas, but the possibility is always there.

Mariota brings a strong ability to evade pressure and use his personal mobility to make plays, and could prove to be one of the most serviceable backup option in the league this season.

The quarterback's fall into a cycle of inconsistency in Tennessee was alarming to watch, though his career there was riddled with injury. He wasn't at full capacity in 2019, and he struggled with a nerve injury during the 2018 season.

Mariota still has the physical gifts that earned him the 2014 Heisman Trophy, and he has the chance to tap into his full potential with new scenery.

Bottom Line

It's impossible to not take into account that Carr lost a potential star wide receiver in Antonio Brown just two days before the start of the 2019 season, and outside of that, he didn't have a solid stable of weapons.

The Raiders used the 2020 NFL Draft to add wideouts Henry Ruggs III, Lynn Bowden Jr. and Bryan Edwards -- three targets that could make Carr's life much easier this season. Note that despite the rumors and speculation before the event, the Raiders did not add a quarterback in the draft, indicating that they're comfortable rolling with the guys they have on board now.

It's very much a make-or-break year for Carr, but it's reasonable to expect the starting gig will be his job to lose at the start of the season. If he enters a major downhill slide, the Raiders may be willing to give Mariota a crack at the No. 1 spot.

Las Vegas also still has Nathan Peterman on the roster, but he shouldn't be expected to move above third-string.

263 views0 comments