Oakland Raiders: Derek Carr is the NFL’s Most Clutch QB

Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is the most clutch QB in the NFL, according to both anyone who watched football in 2016, as well as to Bleacher Report’s analytics.

Bleacher Report has broken down all the starting quarterbacks in the NFL in 2016. Using some of their own measures, they’ve determined which QB they feel is most clutch. Their answer: none other than the franchise quarterback of the Oakland Raiders, Derek Carr.

B/R’s measures acknowledge that QBs of teams who routinely blow other teams out are at a disadvantage. They will have skewed clutch ratings as they do little in crunch time. The article allows that Brady is as clutch as needed when he needed, for example.

The B/R methodology is this: pull stats describing overall quarterback play. Adjust them by how much better or worse the QB performed under pressure. Then add special situations — game-winning drives, 21-plus-yard throws late in the game, turnovers inside an opponent’s 30 — to come up with a score.

If you look at the B/R measurements, Carr’s ranking of #1 makes complete sense. The Raiders rarely blew teams out and almost always needed a clutch Carr in the 4th quarter during winning time. Carr’s numbers increased across the board in the 4th quarter, from accuracy to yards per attempt. He brought his best at peak times.

He won four Castrol “Clutch Performer of the Week” awards this past season, and his passer rating increased almost 10 points in the fourth quarter. His yards-per-attempt went up over a half a yard and his completion percentage around 2% points. The man amped his game up in winning time.

Carr is a top-5 clutch performer by any measure. He led the second-most 4th quarter comebacks (7) in 2016, and has the most since the beginning of 2015. His accuracy and aggressiveness ramps up as the game gets closer to the end. His 4th quarter rating of 109.8 was 4th in the NFL in 2016. The three ahead of him? Aaron Rodgers (114.4), Ben Roethlisberger (113.9), and Tom Brady (113.1).

Carr is the only one of the four whose team is not still playing. The three top performing QBs in the 4th quarter in 2016 all have their teams in the Conference Finals. Carr, had he not broken his leg, may have as well. But one thing is for sure — he’s among the elite when it comes to crunch time.

The Raiders stalled without Carr, showing just how valuable he is to this team. The B/R rankings just quantified what the eye test already showed: that Carr is at his best when it truly matters.

As long as Carr is healthy and leading them down the field, the Silver & Black are in every game. He is one hell of a leader and clutch performer that this team needs in winning time and gives the team confidence in any circumstances. That is key for a young team learning to win.

Lackluster showings to end the season in Denver and Houston showed that very clearly, and showed just how valuable Carr is to this team.

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