Will Raiders’ Derek Carr prove he’s an elite quarterback?

Derek Carr is entering his ninth season with the Las Vegas Raiders, and his sights are set on a deep playoff run after falling in a wild-card game to the Cincinnati Bengals last season.

The AFC West, of course, is full of talented quarterbacks with the same goal, but is Carr the most underrated of them all?

On Thursday’s “The Herd,” Colin Cowherd explained why he believes Carr is an “indisputably elite quarterback.”

Why Derek Carr is an ‘indisputably elite quarterback’

Derek Carr is in a division with arguably the most competitive QBs in the NFL but is he the most underrated? Colin Cowherd defends Carr.

“Derek Carr has not thrown an interception in training camp,” Cowherd said. “What really makes it remarkable is that he’s got a new playcaller, a new system, a new coach, a new coordinator, and a new star receiver. There are a bunch of moving parts. Not a single interception.

“I think what has hurt Carr among fans is, what is his ‘it’? Mahomes has crazy arm talent. Josh Allen has size and athletic ability. Kyler Murray and Russell Wilson have escapability. Dynamic speed for Lamar Jackson. Joe Burrow is cool. Tom Brady pre-snap. Aaron Rodgers plays with style and glamour. What is his ‘it’?”

The statistics say that Carr is one of the most accurate QBs in football, having completed 68.7% of his throws since 2018. He’s also been one of the most effective passers in the clutch, leading 24 fourth-quarter comebacks over the past four years. 

“In the last four years, he has the highest completion percentage of anyone still playing,” Cowherd said. “Drew Brees was slightly higher. In the last eight years, he has been the most reliable quarterback coming back from behind in the fourth quarter. He has also faced the most crisis at head coach for a top quarterback.”

Josh McDaniel marks Carr’s sixth head coach in nine seasons. 

“I think the ‘it’ for Derek Carr is that he overcomes things better than anybody in the league,” Cowherd said. “He overcomes coaching chaos. He’s overcome a teammate killing a citizen in Las Vegas, weak drafts, a bad offensive line, fourth-quarter deficits and constant organizational fluctuation.”

Carr’s biggest obstacle this year might be the fact he’s playing in the toughest quarterback division in the league. He’s gotten some help on offense, however. The Raiders acquired All-Pro Davante Adams to go alongside tight end Darren Waller and slot receiver Hunter Renfrow.

With an increase in offensive weapons, can Carr finally prove that he’s an elite QB? Stay tuned.

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