The Raiders best hope is the return of Derek Carr the miracle worker
There has been a lot of talk about how the Oakland Raiders coaching staff needs to make major adjustments if the team has any hope of making the playoffs this season. That’s 100% true, but it’s not the only thing that needs to happen, nor is it the most likely thing to happen. Making the playoffs after starting the season 4-5 will almost require a miracle but luckily for the Raiders, they have a miracle worker on their team: Derek Carr.
Last season, we saw Carr work his magic repeatedly in the fourth quarter of close games. If ever I saw a miracle worker in a Raiders uniform, the Derek Carr of 2016 was it. And if the Raiders want to make the playoffs this season, they need the miracle worker Carr from 2017 rather than the hesitant Carr we’ve seen in 2017.
There is plenty of blame to be placed on Oakland’s coaching staff, that’s for sure. But the reality is that Derek Carr has also just not been himself. There’s likely a good explanation for that as he’s coming off of a broken leg to end last season and a broken back earlier this season, but fair or not, asking too much or not, the Raiders need him to be better.
There are still times when Carr feels pressure that isn’t there and rushes his passes. No, it’s not all of the time and yes, there are times when the scheming and play calling lets him down. But fair or not, asking too much or not, Oakland needs him to be better.
The Raiders are in such a tough position with regards to the playoffs that they need a transcendant performance from Carr for the remainder of the season. They need a performance that reminds everyone of why he was an MVP candidate in 2016 and why he became one of the highest paid players in NFL history this past offseason.
In no way does the blame for this season fall on Carr’s shoulders alone and yet, fair or not, asking too much or not, the fate of this season does rest almost solely on the shoulders of Carr.
I don’t believe we can reasonably expect this Raiders coaching staff to figure out how to improve dramatically when they’ve failed to do so thus far. I do, however, believe that Derek Carr is capable of once again putting this Raiders team on his (broken) back and carrying them to the finish line.
And if the Raiders want to make the playoffs, they’re gonna need Carr to be every bit of the miracle worker he was in 2016 for the rest of this season.