December 6, 2019

Kurtenbach: For Derek Carr, Raiders vs. Titans should be win-or-find-a-new-home

Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said in his postmortem press conference Monday that he was not going to “sit here and criticize my quarterback.”

So I guess I’ll do it for him.

Derek Carr has done plenty of admirable things in both his Raiders career and this past season, but with his team’s playoff hopes on life support following two embarrassing blowout losses, we’re back to where we were this past offseason and the offseason before that:

Carr is playing or his job — yes, once again — over the last four games of the 2019 campaign.

But really, it’s Sunday’s game against the Titans that’ll prove to be a referendum on No. 4.

(Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)

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And if that’s not Gruden’s perspective, then he should start listening to the fans a bit more. If I’m accurately picking up what they’re laying down, they’re over their quarterback. Forgive the anecdotal evidence, but from my perspective, it’s overwhelming — at the very least, the fan base is wholly disenchanted with Carr’s play.

Don’t call the fans fickle, either. It’s now in Carr’s sixth season at the helm of the Raiders and his second season in Gruden’s offense. The last four of those seasons can be generously called “underwhelming.”

So we’ve reached a push-comes-to-shove moment.

Gruden went to bat for Carr on Monday that saying that “he’s competing, and he’s performed very well with a lot of moving parts, and if you think that’s easy, then you’re mistaken. I compliment him for his competitiveness, his preparation and his ability to compete each week.”

It’s impossible to disagree with that assessment. Carr deserves credit for preparing the right way. Compliment him until the sun goes down. As for his level of competitiveness — I don’t know how anyone can gauge that.

The things that really matter — his play and the results on the field — can be gauged, though. And it’s his play and the results in critical games — games that mean more than one win or one loss — that have most underwhelmed.

Carr hasn’t authored a win over a playoff team since October of 2017. He has four wins in 31 games against playoff teams in his career. This season, he’s 0-5 against probable playoff teams, and, in the last two weeks, when the Raiders were in a position to take control of a playoff spot in the AFC and perhaps even …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports


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