From the moment Jon Gruden came back to the Raiders, he has wanted his team to be a physical and balanced offense. He made that clear by reinvesting into the offensive line and drafting Josh Jacobs in the first round.
However, Derek Carr has been so good over the last two seasons that it’s hard to take the ball out of his hands. He has steadily improved as a passer under Gruden and had arguably the best season of his career in 2020.
The question is, can he build on that season and post a career-high in passing yards in 2021?
In a recent article by ESPN’s 32 beat writers, they were each assigned a prop bet to comment on. For the Raiders, it was Derek Carr’s passing yardage total of 4,050.5. That is less than he has thrown for in each of the last two seasons. Here are Paul Gutierrez’s thoughts on that line for the team’s franchise quarterback:
“Let’s see, Carr has set career highs in passing yards in each season he has played under Jon Gruden, going from 4,049 yards in 2018 to 4,054 in 2019 to 4,103 last season. And with an extra game to pad stats and talent all over the field — from Pro Bowlers Darren Waller at tight end and Josh Jacobs at running back, to young, improving wideouts Henry Ruggs III and Bryan Edwards — it’s hard to see Carr taking a step back in production. The Raiders’ rebuilt offensive line will have to give Carr time, and that might be the only reason to take the under here. Still, Carr has improved his output every year under Gruden, and that trend should continue.”
This still won’t be a high-volume passing attack under Gruden, but it’s still hard to see Carr going under that total unless he is injured. The weapons are a bit unproven for the Raiders, but they certainly don’t lack talent.
So for Carr to set a career-high in passing yards, he would need to average 241.4 passing yards per game, which seems entirely doable. He won’t lead the NFL in passing yards, but do expect him to surpass his prop total and have another career year under Gruden.
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