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Week 8 Opposing QB: An analysis of Derek Carr

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at New Orleans Saints Matthew Hinton-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks to the nflFastR project and NFL NextGen Stats for the timely sources of data.

For those of you new to this, I will publish key QB stats each week judging how well the upcoming opponent QB has performed. Yes, O-Line, receivers, and play-calling impact these numbers but they are primarily QB measures. I will probably modify the charts throughout the season. Commentary will be brief but feel free to let me know in the comments that stats aren’t everything. (click charts for larger view)

This year, the Saints signed Derek Carr to a 4-year, $150M deal to lead their offense. Has it been worth it so far?


opd, edp, arsr, pr%, ttt, adot, ay/c, sck%, scr%, ta%, aa%, aay, cmp%, cpoe, yac, yacoe, ypa, ny/d, 1st%, td%, to%, epa/d, psr
  • The Saints have faced easy pass defenses and implented a fairly balanced run-pass split, but have experienced below avearge rushing success (28th opd, 20th edp, 19th arsr)
  • Carr has been pressured a lot and it’s not from long developing plays as he gets rid of the ball faster than the average QB (9th pr%, 21st ttt). This almost always means poor protection and ESPN has got my back on this one, as they rank the Saints O-Line 30th in Pass Block Win Rate.
  • So, under pressure, with not a lot of time to throw, Carr still has the 9th longest pass attempts. However, his completion depth is pretty short (9th adot, 24th ay/c). Short completions on long attempts can be due to accuracy issues, but Carr has decent accuracy (18th cpoe).
  • So, that means missing on a lot of deep attempts combined with a lot of completed check-downs. The data backs this up as Carr has by far the most attemtps over 20 yards and the 9th worst completion rate on those passes. He also has the 4th most attempts <= 5 yards.
  • He’s not getting a lot of yac on those short passes either (26th yac, 29th yacoe), which directly leads to poor yardage efficiency (27th ypa)
  • He takes an average amount of sacks and he doesn’t scramble much nor throw the ball away (14th sck%, 24th scr%, 19th ta%).
  • His yardage on those abandon plays is poor (27th aay), but since his abandoned play rate is low (24th aa%), it doesn’t impact his overall yardage efficieny rank much and he lands 26th in ny/d.
  • With such short yardage, he’s not getting first downs or TDs (24th 1st%, 29th td%).
  • However, he is taking care of the ball (28th to%), which keeps his overall efficiency from falling any lower (24th EPA/d, 25th psr).

I’ve got to think the Saints were hoping for a lot more than this, but considering he wasn’t very good as a Raider and they aren’t giving him decent protection, they shouldn’t be surprised.


His production is not noticeably different from the 2nd half of last year.


His passing depth is way down from where it was on the Raiders. He’s looking for the deep ball but pressure is keeping him from being successful.


Kamara is heavily involved in the passing game, which is smart, but not nearly as successful as previous years. I blame play calling.


The move to New Orleans has improved his accuracy, but his deep passing completion % is below league average.


Much quicker throws with the Saints. Pressure? Scheme? Yes.


There is no real pattern as to where he has been successful.