Texans QB David Carr gets the NY Times treatment this week as the local team prepares to be hammered by the Giants this Sunday in the Meadowlands. Former Dallas Cowboy personnel director Gil Brandt, who knows a thing or two about evaluating football players, is quoted as making the following observation about Carr:
ìI think maybe sometimes a guy doesnít have the tenacity or is too nice a guy to really play to his capabilities,î Brandt said in a telephone interview. ìHeís an enigma to me.î
That is football-speak for questioning whether Carr has the heart and leadership ability to be an above-average quarterback in the NFL. Based on what I saw last Sunday, Brandt is spot on in his observation about Carr. With each passing week, it is becoming clearer than Carr is not going to be as good an NFL quarterback as contemporaries such as the Saints’ Drew Brees or the Bengals’ Carson Palmer. Indeed, Carr is at a point where he must answer the question of whether he is a better QB than Sage Rosenfels.
Carr’s defenders point to his salty NFL quarterback rating, which was 4th in the league going into last week’s debacle against the Titans. However, the NFL’s QB rating is about as misleading as batting average in baseball in terms of evaluating a player’s true effectiveness. QB Score per play — a far more accurate statistic for evaluating QB play developed by the folks over at the Wages of Wins blog — reflects that Carr is nowhere near the top level of NFL QB’s. When rushing, sacks, and fumbles are considered along with passing stats, then Carr was ranked only as the 19th best QB in the NFL going into the Titans game. Based on his disastrous game against the Titans last Sunday, Carr was ranked dead last in the NFL for the week in QB Score per play.
Just to underscore the misleading nature of the NFL’s QB rating, after Carrís horrific Week Eight effort, he barely dropped in the NFL QB rating — from 4th to 6th. In comparison, QB Score per play ranks him 23rd among NFL signal-callers, which appears to be much closer to where Texans head coach Gary Kubiak is rating Carr.
I don’t think that level of performance is what Bob McNair had in mind when he selected Carr as the Texans’ first draft choice in 2002.