Punch Drunk Wonderland

Should Matt Schaub or Derek Carr Start for the Raiders?

The Oakland Raiders find themselves in a rough spot going into 2014. They are the oldest team in the league in terms of average player age, and they don’t have a clear cut favorite to start at quarterback. Matt Schaub seems to have a lost quite a bit of velocity and rookie Derek Carr doesn’t really seem NFL ready just yet despite some preseason success. They find themselves in a position to struggle, and part of that struggle hinges on their decisions at the QB position.

Our friends at numberFire.com have taken a look at Schaub and Carr, and they’ve given some insight into who should get the nod.

Two years ago, Matt Schaub was the starting quarterback on an upward trending team. He was a 4,000-yard passer with three 20-plus touchdown seasons under his belt. He had been named to the Pro Bowl twice – winning Pro Bowl MVP once – after backing up the electric Michael Vick for three years in Atlanta.

He was solid from an advanced metrics standpoint, too. From 2008 to 2012, his per drop back Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) score never dipped below 0.10. For reference, that five-year low is on par with 2013’s version of Tom Brady.

Matt Schaub used to be good. But the key phrase there, obviously, is “used to be.”

In 2013, everything changed. Schaub went from a perennial under-the-radar quarterback to one who looked at the football as if it was a foreign object never seen before. Schaub was bad in 2013. Really bad. His per drop back Passing NEP – which, as noted, was really strong throughout his time in Houston – fell to Brandon Weeden levels. Matt Schaub hit a wall, and it forced him out of Houston.

He found a job over the offseason with the Raiders, and most believed he’d be their starter in Week 1. But rookie Derek Carr, who was selected towards the beginning of the second round in the 2014 NFL Draft, had something to say about that last night.

In the Raiders final preseason game, Carr went 11 for 13 for 143 yards and three touchdown passes. Against Seattle, too, for what that’s worth.

Continue reading at numberFire.com… (@numberfire)


K. Smelser About K. Smelser
Kelly Smelser is Owner/Senior Writer for Punch Drunk Wonderland and PDFantasy Sports. Architect of the PDW fantasy football world and general spinster of NFL and Fantasy Football news and analysis. Long walks on the beach, sunsets, and other such niceties are also fine...