Las Vegas Raiders: Struggling star told to 'step the hell up' by Stephen A. Smith

Derek Carr

The Las Vegas Raiders should be blaming Derek Carr for their poor performances so far this season, according to Stephen A. Smith. 

The Las Vegas Raiders have been something of an intriguing side so far this season, as they have been in a number of close games but haven’t been able to pick up a single win, losing by scores of 24-19 to the Los Angeles Chargers, 29-23 to the Arizona Cardinals in overtime despite leading by 20 points at one stage and this week 24-22 to the Tennessee Titans.

The Raiders started off this season in a pretty good spot, as they were a playoff team last year and in one of the biggest moves of the offseason, added All-Pro wide receiver, and arguably the best in the league Davante Adams in a trade with the Green Bay Packers. However, despite starting off with a bang by hauling in 141 yards and a touchdown, he’s put up 48 in the past two games.

Meanwhile the Raiders offense has a whole just hasn’t been able to get them over the top, as they have been getting better and better in terms of yards, going from 320 to 324 to 396, but still not able to pull out a win.

It raises the question, just who is to blame for them falling to such a disastrous start, one that puts them at the bottom of the AFC West. Given how tough the division looks this year, with the Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers and Denver Broncos all coming into the season with high expectations and many thinking it’s the best division in the league, the longer their problems go on, the less likely it’s looking that they’ll be able to reach the playoffs come the end of ths season. 

And ESPN broadcaster Stephen A. Smith thinks that the majority of the blame needs to go on one person in particular. 

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Derek Carr can’t kick things up a notch

Whilst the Raiders’ start has been intriguing, quarterback Derek Carr’s has been underwhelming, as he’s completed just 60.6% of his passes so far, whilst his touchdown to interception ratio is 5:4, not exactly numbers that scream a high-powered offense in the long-run, especially considering that last year he was completing 68.4% of his passes and had 23 touchdowns to 14 interceptions.

And that’s why Smith thinks that he needs to take the majority of the blame for what is happening for the Raiders so far this season.

Las Vegas Raiders’ Derek Carr destroyed by Stephen A. Smith

Speaking on ESPN’s First Take as part of a discussion about the Raiders’ troubles, Smith pointed the finger squarely at Carr, pointing out that if he wants to be seen as a big-time quarterback, it’s up to him to take responsibility to get them over the top:

I’m saying ultimately, it comes down to the face of the franchise. You’re supposed to be that dude, so if you’re out there working with these cats, you’re supposed to be holding them accountable. You’re supposed to make sure they’re on their game. And if they’re not handling their business, you’re supposed to point out why.

You’re 0-3 bro, you’re up 20 to nothing, there was no excuse to lose that game to Arizona, there’s no excuse to throw three interceptions. There’s no excuse to handle your business the way that he had. You want to be the face of the franchise with Russell Wilson, Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes within your division, you got to step the hell up. That’s my point about Derek Carr.

Smith does raise a good point, because at the end of the day, a team’s success starts and ends with the quarterback, and if he isn’t performing to the level that should be expected, both in terms of his play and his leadership skills to get the rest of the players up to scratch, then it’s something of a deriliction of duty. 

Perhaps these are all just growing pains when it comes to working with his new head coach, the offensive-minded Josh McDaniels, but it’s something that needs to be sorted out as soon as possible, otherwise the Raiders might end up having to punt on the season sooner than they might have expected.

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