Coach Jon Gruden expects Carr to improve with more experience in the same offensive system, getting an additional boost from the offseason additions of wide receivers Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams, Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. The Raiders did make some sacrifices along the way, releasing Jordy Nelson (free agent) and allowing Jared Cook (Saints) to sign elsewhere. Brown alone would make it a net gain in terms of talent, but there is legitimate cause for concern with the depth chart at running back and tight end. The Raiders also made a couple major moves on the offensive line, trading guard Kelechi Osemele to the Jets and signing tackle Trent Brown to a four-year, $66 million contract. That's probably a wash in terms of pure talent, but it's a huge gain in terms of recent impact after Osemele struggled through an ineffective, injury-marred 2018 campaign. We should have a better read on Carr's 2019 outlook at the end of April, as the Raiders have ample draft capital and could use it to boost his supporting cast and/or draft his replacement.
General manager Mike Mayock said Wednesday that he views Carr as a franchise quarterback, Vic Tafur of The Athletic reports. Entering the second season of a five-year, $125 million contract extension, Carr seems to have support from both Mayock and coach Jon Gruden, though both bosses could change their tune if the soon-to-be 28-year-old struggles in 2019. The Raiders could have escaped Carr's contract without much pain if they'd released him shortly after the Super Bowl, but his $19.9 million base salary became guaranteed when he was still on the roster three days after the end of the season, per OverTheCap.com. The decision essentially locks Carr in as the starter for 2019, albeit with a contract that allows the team to re-evaluate him on a year-to-year basis. The Raiders have a plethora of draft picks and cap space to improve the team around Carr this offseason.
Coach Jon Gruden suggested Carr will return as the Raiders' starting quarterback in 2019, Jerry McDonald of The San Jose Mercury News reports. "Look, you throw for 4,000 yards in the NFL with what [Carr]'s been through, it's quite a year, quite a year indeed," Gruden said Sunday. "A new system, young tackles, inside three guards are all gone, receivers are coming and going. A new feature back. He did some really good things to build upon. We need to get better around him and I've got to get better myself." Carr finished 2018 with career-high marks in an odd assortment of categories, including completion percentage (68.9), passing yards (4,049), yards per attempt (7.3), sacks (51) and lost fumbles (seven). It didn't add up to much value in the fantasy universe, as he accounted for a career-low 20 touchdowns in an offense that scored just 27 times on the whole. Carr seemingly did enough to buy himself another season as the starter, but it isn't out of the question that general manager Mike Mayock might convince Gruden to take a closer look. Oakland owns the No. 4 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, with two additional selections late in the first round. The team should at least take a close look at the available quarterbacks, though its early picks are more likely to be used on putting better players around Carr. The Raiders also figure to prioritize 31-year-old tight end Jared Cook, who just produced career-high numbers across the board in the second season of a two-year contract.
Carr completed 24 of 33 pass attempts for 185 yards and two interceptions in Sunday's 35-3 loss to the Chiefs. Kansas City does possess a couple of talented pass rushers, but they are otherwise a defense that has been routinely exposed by opposing quarterbacks, so Carr's stat line was supremely underwhelming given the circumstances. The 27-year-old really struggled down the stretch, averaging just 205 passing yards with one touchdown and two interceptions over the previous three contests. Carr will finish above the 4,000-yard mark for the first time in his career, but the 19 touchdowns will be his lowest mark. Despite the new career high in passing yards, it's hard not to view Carr's 2018 season as a fantasy disappointment.
Carr completed 19 of 26 attempts for 167 yards during Monday's 27-14 win against Denver. With another interception-free performance against Denver on Monday night, Carr has now gone 10 consecutive games without throwing a pick. This after committing eight interceptions over Oakland's first five outings of 2018. The Broncos did, however, succeed in holding him without a touchdown for the first time in his past six outings, while simultaneously breaking his three-game streak of 260-plus yard passing performances. Outside of the first quarter of the regular season, Carr has been an exceptionally conservative thrower in his fifth pro campaign. Since putting up 343.3 passing yards per game between Weeks 1 and 4, Carr has averaged 226.5 yards per game through the air over his past 11 appearances. He'll have an opportunity to close out the 2018 season with a boom, as the Raiders travel to Arrowhead to face a Chiefs pass defense that's allowed an NFL-high 6,401 passing yards on the year.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/15||Kansas City Chiefs||23||21.67|
|7||10/20||@Green Bay Packers||22||21.25|
|10||11/08||Los Angeles Chargers||8||16.89|
|12||11/24||@New York Jets||27||22.38|
|13||12/01||@Kansas City Chiefs||23||21.67|
|16||12/22||@Los Angeles Chargers||8||16.89|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||65.2||3827||23||10||61||0||275|