First, I have to be sure everyone knows I would rather see Troy Smith start. But this post is about Carr, and the fact that he is most likely to start if Alex can't play. Carr has been with the team longer than our other back-ups and has the most NFL experience. From a coaching perspective, that makes him the best option. I also realize that everyone is calling for him to be cut, traded, drawn and quartered, you name it. I think he got a bum wrap yesterday though. The play calling, when he came in, pretty much set him up to fail. Even given his poor decision making at the end of the game, better play calling could have prevented a lot of those issues.
His first play was a 3rd and 28. After a bad throw and punt, he comes back out for his 1st drive. What set do we show? Shotgun with empty backfield. Let's tell the D know he was throwing it. Carolina was 5th ranked in pass defense and 1st in INTs going into the game yesterday. Why advertise the back-up, cold QB off the bench, is throwing? One short pass and one very bad pass deep down the right side later, the OC decides Carr can't throw.
Next series, 5 runs, then 3rd and 13. Another bad pass, and we settle for a field goal.
Next... run, run, run. 4th and 27, punt.
Next possession, score is SF 20 - Car 23. 1:57 on the clock. This puts Carr in a position where he HAS to air it out, and he is still cold. He threw a pick on a high pass, that Crabs completely gave up on. Did he think there was another receiver behind him? Was he afraid to get hit when he touched it? Whatever he thought, he could have at least batted it away.
The next and final series, 39 seconds on the clock. Carr threw a couple completions, but also made some bad decisions. Rookie style mistakes. But overall, he only had 13 pass attempts. 5 were completed for 67 yards, and one INT during desperation time.
IMO, the OC should have been setting up screens or quick slants or something to help Carr get warmed up. Granted, time was an issue, you have to know what to expect from your players. Although I was disappointed with Carr's performance, I feel the play calling should have taken into account that he had NEVER played with the 1st string, and hadn't really played in an NFL game in almost a year.
Carr's career stats, including yesterday, are a 74.9 passer rating, 59.7% completion rate for an average of 6.4 yds per attempt. Yesterday, he had a 23.6 passer rating, 38.5% completion rate, for 5.2 yds per attempt. Yesterday was bad, but it isn't indicative of his average level of play. I think a week of preparation, practicing with the 1st string and actually getting good reps in practice will greatly improve Carr's play in the next game. Although I would rather see Troy Smith come out on the first possession, I think Carr will play much better if he goes out on the field. I don't think this team has a chance of sweeping the remaining games to go to the playoffs, but Sing has to make decisions that give us the best chance. I think Carr is the logical choice. Troy and Nate may be the desired choice, but they are big question marks. You know what to expect with Carr. And last game isn't what you expect.
So, now that it has been a day and everyone had a chance to calm down, do you think Carr is as bad as he was yesterday, or do you think he will come out next week and play better, after knocking off the dust and cobwebs?