Derek Carr has changed the narrative around him this year. No longer viewed as a one-hit wonder who couldn't get back on track after a nasty injury, Carr is once again a beloved slinger out west capable of leading his team to wins and potentially a playoff spot.
However, there is one stigma Carr can't shake, and, quite frankly, it's only going to get worse as the days pass: he sucks in the cold.
That's not me saying it. That's former Raiders coach Jack Del Rio saying it. Del Rio pointed out Carr doesn't like playing in the cold. Turns out, stats support him.
Those are truly dreadful numbers, especially heading into a showdown against the Chiefs in chilly Kansas City this weekend. But really, it's no surprise.
Carr grew up in California. He played his college ball in California. He was drafted by a California-based NFL team. In case you were wondering, California (at least where Carr has lived and played his entire career) has pretty tepid temperatures.
It stands to reason, therefore, that Carr would struggle in the cold. But while that may be accepted as fact, it's not great. After all, football is played outdoors in the cold, it gets colder as the season goes on, and in order for the Raiders (or any team he plays for ) to succeed late in the year, Carr is going to have to win in the cold, something he's proven unable to do thus far.
Carr is having a resurgent season in his second year in Jon Gruden's system, passing for 2,621 yards on 70.9 percent throwing with 15 touchdowns and 6 interceptions thus far. More importantly, the Raiders are winning and, at 6-5, in position to make the playoffs for the first time since Carr led them to a 12-3 record in 2016 before his leg snapped on the field.
Carr has been working his way back since, and seems to be ready to reclaim a spot among the Top 10-15 quarterbacks in the league. But in order to rise to that level, you have to be able to play (and win) in different stadiums and different conditions. Until Carr proves he can do that, he'll remain more of a quarterback question mark than answer.