Captain Checkdown let it loose
Over the last few years, Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has been given the ‘Captain Checkdown’ stigma. Fans and some people in the media became frustrated with Carr’s propensity to prioritize short completions over riskier but potential momentum-shifting passes down the field. However, that narrative got flipped on its head last season.
Per Pro Football Focus, the Raiders’ signal-caller had the second-most pass attempts beyond the line of scrimmage in 2021, behind only Tom Brady and ahead of rocket-armed quarterbacks like Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes.
Most deep pass attempts 20+ yards downfield last season
Tom Brady – 82
Derek Carr – 78
Josh Allen – 77
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) June 17, 2022
What might make his standing even more impressive is Carr had fewer overall attempts than Brady, Allen and Mahomes, so he was pushing the ball down the field at a higher rate than all three of those elite quarterbacks. For those curious, 12.5 percent of Carr’s throws were 20 or more yards down the field compared to Brady’s 11.4 percent, Allen’s 11.9 and Mahomes’ 10.5.
Las Vegas’ captain also notched 26 ‘big-time throws’ when chucking it deep, according to PFF, which was tied for sixth with Matthew Stafford, another well-known gunslinger.
In fairness to those who grew frustrated with ‘Captain Checkdown’, Carr’s 78 deep attempts were the most he’s had since his rookie season when he threw 71 bombs down the field. But what matters most now is the upcoming campaign, and Carr could set another personal record as Davante Adams ranked tied for fifth among wide receivers with 12 deep catches in 2021.
In other Raiders links:
- 2021 rewind, Carr vs Broncos: speaking of the quarterback’s deep balls, relive one of his best performances from last season where he was chucking it up all over the field.
- Brandon Bolden eager to push RB room: Veteran tailback has a leg up in terms of familiarity with the new scheme; willing to impart knowledge to teammates, via our Ray Aspuria.
- News round-up: get caught up on all the news coming out of Raider land with this week’s episode of Holder’s Handful.
- Rock Ya-Sin impressive early on: “The soft-spoken corner hasn’t been talked about much, but it’s not because he’s performed poorly. He’s been consistent, fluid and in the right position regardless of who he’s matched up against,” per The Athletic’s Tashan Reed.