Derek Carr of the Oakland Raiders is a rising star. However, is he ready to dethrone the Patriots.
He’s accurate, athletic, and has a cannon for an arm. However, despite being an injury away in 2016, Derek Carr has never played a playoff game.
Under head coach Bill Belichick and with quarterback Tom Brady behind the reigns, the New England Patriots have been eliminated from the postseason nine times since 2001. Of those nine playoff losses, none came against a quarterback in their first postseason.
In 2005, the Patriots lost to Jake Plummer’s Denver Broncos in the AFC Divisional Round. Plummer had been to the playoffs three times before beating New England. The next year, Peyton Manning topped the Patriots in the AFC Championship of his seventh postseason.
It took Eli Manning two one-and-dones before he led the 2007 Giants to a Super Bowl victory over New England. And In his second postseason, Joe Flacco served the 2009 Patriots a first-round elimination. Even Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez had visited the playoffs once before handing the Pats a Divisional Round loss in 2010.
Eli beat New England a second time in Super Bowl 46, followed by another conference championship defeat from Flacco’s Ravens in 2012. Since then, the only quarterback to beat the Patriots in the postseason is future Hall-of-Famer, Peyton Manning.
Ben Roethlisberger has won two Super Bowls in nine playoff runs but never defeated New England on the way. Andrew Luck’s been to the postseason three times, twice ended by the Patriots. Russell Wilson couldn’t beat the team in his second trip to the Super Bowl. And 2017 MVP Matt Ryan couldn’t top New England in his fifth playoff berth.
With that being said, why should someone to believe that Derek Carr will dethrone the defending Super Bowl champions in his first trip to the postseason?
There are 53 players on an NFL roster. In the grand scheme of things, Jake Plummer’s career has no effect on whether or not Oakland will end the Patriots 2017 season. Saying the Raiders won’t give New England a run for their money wouldn’t be fair. Although, hasn’t Bill Belichick earned enough respect to not have his team questioned by a playoff rookie?
The last time a quarterback in their first postseason won the Super Bowl was Kurt Warner in 1998. Since then, the only two passers to reach that far are Carolina’s Jake Delhomme in 2003 — who lost to New England — and San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick in 2012.
Even rookie Dak Prescott’s one-and-done versus Green Bay will be more beneficial going forward than Carr with no playoff experience at all.
Derek Carr is the best quarterback to enter the league since Andrew Luck in 2012. If not for a season-ending injury in Week 15 of last season, the 2016 playoffs would’ve looked very different in the AFC. There’s no question whether or not Carr will be an elite quarterback in years to come but for now he’ll have to taste the postseason before he defeats the Patriots.