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538: Derek Carr, the NFL’s Newest Gunslinger

Today at 538: A look at Derek Carr, and why he’s the NFL’s newest gunslinger.

This season, Carr has been great in the fourth quarter, completing 27 of 45 passes for 368 yards (no sacks), with five touchdowns and just one interception. Carr’s Total Quarterback Rating (QBR) of 87.7 in the fourth quarter is second only to Ben Roethlisberger’s, 96.2. Carr is a legitimate offensive player of the year candidate on a resurgent Raiders team, and his strong fourth-quarter performance is one of the reasons.

But despite the game-winning drives and the success this year, Carr has taken his lumps late in games, too. Last season, he had a QBR of just 24.0 in the fourth quarter, the second-worst grade among the 33 qualifying quarterbacks (ahead of only Nick Foles). And this isn’t just a QBR issue — Carr also ranked second to last in fourth-quarter passer rating, at 67.5, again ahead of only Foles.

You can read the full article here.

  • Adam

    Interesting dichotomy between Carr’s playing style and his end game strategy. He’s ranked below average in Y/C all three seasons (including 33rd in 2014 and 28th this year), so it’s curious that he gets aggressive in crunch time. You could almost say that Derek Carr is the anti-Rodgers.

    • That was sort of my thinking, although he does still have a really low Y/C in crunch time. It’s pretty interesting and is something to monitor to see how he does out of sample.

      • Adam

        Maybe he doesn’t play any differently in crunch time, and his high TD and INT rates are simply random noise. Honestly that’s probably the most likely scenario. I find it hard to believe that a QB who plays like Alex Smith for 45 minutes suddenly morphs into a gunslinger in the fourth quarter.