Derek Carr didn’t need to look like a Hall of Fame quarterback to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars and make it look like Blake Bortles was a mistake.
Derek Carr completed 23 of 37 pass attempts for 200 yards and one touchdown. Those are hardly amazing numbers but it was more than enough to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars and humiliate fellow 2014 draft pick Blake Bortles.
Bortles completed 23 of 43 pass attempts for 246 yards, one touchdown, and two interception. It was hardly the performance of a player who is expected to be the franchise quarterback for the next decade.
Both players have big responsibilities placed on them and both players are expected to overcome adversity, but 2016’s Bortles looks far worse than 2016’s Carr as they both mature in their third years in the NFL.
The overall development of the Oakland Raiders under general manager Reggie Mackenzie and head coach Jack Del Rio has created an environment for Carr to thrive. He’s hardly sacked (just seven times this season) and he’s in a position to succeed with a strong offensive line, running game, and receiving corps. Week 7 was no exception.
In comparison, the Jaguars seem to have the right talent in place at wide receiver but struggle both on the ground and along the offensive line. Bortles, already prone to mistakes, has his penchant for risks amplified by the constant pressure (15 sacks this season, most sacked QB last two seasons) and lack of a run game (32nd in attempts).
While it is fun to compare stats straight up, it is also important to note the different situations the two quarterbacks find themselves in. That isn’t to say Bortles isn’t struggling (he is, mightily) but these are two quarterbacks who are growing in very different situations.
Still, on Sunday it looked like Carr was the right choice in the second round of 2014 while Bortles looked like a reach (and a bit of a mistake) at third overall. The patience for Bortles is wearing thin and he needs to make big strides to even replicate his surprisingly successful 2015 season.
Carr, meanwhile, looks like he will continue to develop well and could be the last 2014 QB standing. With Bortles struggling, Bridgewater injured, and Johnny Manziel doing Johnny Manziel things, Carr’s peers are being left behind.
It’s painful to say it, but Derek Carr made Blake Bortles look like a mistake in Week 7.