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The case of Raiders QB Derek Carr's quietly stellar 2019 season

During his recent seasons with the Raiders under the Jon Gruden-coaching umbrella, Derek Carr's status as the Silver and Black's franchise quarterback has seemingly been in doubt.

That doubt has been cast despite Carr putting up quietly impressive numbers.

And in the case of his 2019 campaign, Carr produced a quietly stellar – even historic – season, doubters or not.

When all was said and done in 2019, Carr had 4,054 yards passing and a 70.4 completion percentage, becoming just the third quarterback in NFL history to have 4,000 or more passing yards and a 70% or better completion rate in a single season, per NFL Research. The others are Drew Brees (2009, 2011, 2017) and Kirk Cousins (2018), according to NFL Research.

One of the most storied franchises in the NFL, the Raiders had never had a quarterback throw for 4,000 yards in back-to-back seasons until Carr these last two campaigns, according to NFL Research.

Carr is still the presumed starting quarterback for the Raiders, of course, but their signing of former first-rounder Marcus Mariota at the least adds some intrigue.

It's truly an added chapter in the curious case of Carr, who's put up impressive numbers amid a Raiders franchise that has largely struggled and lacked consistency during his time.

In Carr's half-dozen seasons with the Raiders, he's missed just two of a possible 96 starts, made three Pro Bowls, had four head coaches and a lack of consistency at wide receiver. In that time, the Raiders have just one winning season and one playoff berth, which might well be the largest looming factor in regard to doubts of his status as a franchise QB.

Now, the Raiders have added first-round speedster Henry Ruggs to a receiver corps with Tyrell Williams and Hunter Renfrow. Tight end Darren Waller has burst on the scene and Josh Jacobs appears to be a star running back in the making. Thus, at least on paper, it would seem Carr has a supporting cast the likes of which he's really never had the caliber of previously.

Despite Carr's historically efficient 2019, it was still a year in which he quarterbacked an offense that scored 19.6 points per game – joining the Bills and Dolphins as the only three teams in the league to have averaged less than 20 points the last three years, per NFL Research.

Perhaps the most curious aspect of Carr's quietly stellar 2019 campaign was his excellently efficient numbers did not translate to the most important numbers of touchdowns and victories. For 2020 to be a loudly stellar season, it would seem that will need to happen.

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