There is no denying that the AFC West is the best division in football. In a year where the LA Chargers are gearing up to contend for the Super Bowl, the rest of the division has as well. There are four teams that could legitimately make the playoffs in the AFC West and someone is going to have to miss out.
The Las Vegas Raiders are the most likely team to be left out in the AFC West. While anything can happen, with a bad defense and easily the worst quarterback of the bunch they have the hardest uphill climb this season of anyone in the division.
That is not to say that Derek Carr is a bad quarterback. He is certainly above-average, he is just a lot closer to average than he is to elite. The problem is that the rest of the division has elite quarterbacks under center.
There definitely are some Derek Carr believers out there. Every Raiders fan will sit there and talk about how he is a top-10 quarterback and some analysts think he is in for a big year as well. That includes CBS Sports' Adam Schein, who has a wild prediction for Carr this season.
So just to go over the prediction: best year of his life, over 5,000 yards, and better than Tom Brady. That is quite the season for Carr considering last season was his first season throwing for more than 4,200 yards and he has only hit 30 touchdowns once in his career.
Chargers fans have to find this Derek Carr prediction hilarious.
These are Justin Herbert numbers and everyone, not just Chargers fans, knows that Herbert is a better quarterback than Carr. We have all seen Carr place twice a season for almost a decade now. Chargers fans know exactly who they are dealing with under center for the Vegas Raiders.
To be fair to Carr, I would not be surprised if he actually did put up a yard total close to or above 5,000 yards. However, there is such a thing as empty stats in the NFL and that is going to be the case with Carr. He has a lot of talent around him that will elevate him and with such a bad defense, he is going to have to throw the ball a lot.
He is essentially in the same situation as Justin Herbert was last year as he has to overcome what will be one of the worst defenses in the sport. Herbert can clutch up and make big plays when the going gets tough, though. I am not sure Carr can.
Raiders fans would pass this off as a win as well. If Carr reaches 5,000 yards then Vegas fans will parade that he is indeed an elite quarterback and that proves it. However, passing yards are not everything. Blake Bortles once threw for over 4,400 yards and was seventh in the league. Was he the seventh best quarterback?