Signing Derek Carr would be the worst decision the Tennessee Titans could make

Tennessee Titans Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports
Tennessee Titans Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports /

There is a good chunk of the Tennessee Titans fan base that doesn’t like Ryan Tannehill because he hasn’t won a Super Bowl yet, but why on Earth do people think that Derek Carr is a better option?

Over the last two seasons, I can understand why Tennessee Titans fans would be frustrated with Ryan Tannehill at times. With Derrick Henry injured in 2021 and then slowing down a step in 2022 (but still being a top-3 back in the NFL), the guy that fans have seen the most on offense is Tannehill.

Tannehill has the misfortune of being the face of the offense when it isn’t going well and “just another guy” on the offensive when things look smooth. There is a lot that goes into that from everyone else on the roster getting injured before he did, to bad play calling, to an offense that lends itself to running backs getting all of the volume stats.

Every pass he throws is magnified because the Tennessee Titans choose to run the ball until they are stopped instead of taking what the defense gives them and using more play-action passes.

The problem is, Tannehill is in a situation where he can’t really prove anyone wrong until he wins in the playoffs. He could drag a team to the top seed in the AFC -which he actually did in 2021- but if he doesn’t thrive in the playoffs then it is his fault that they lost.

Now, to be fair, A LOT of the Cincinnati Bengals loss was on his shoulders, no one denies that. However, this has turned people lazy and they have retroactively blamed every playoff loss on Tannehill which the stats will always support based on the offense that the Titans use, even if that isn’t really why they lost.

But, let’s say that the Tennessee Titans agree and that they think it is time to make a change at quarterback. Maybe Ran Carthon and Mike Vrabel don’t feel comfortable with the idea of drafting well and developing a supporting cast around the quarterback position and feel like they need a passer who can elevate everyone around him.

Derek Carr is not that.

Tennessee Titans shouldn’t shoot for a worse version of what they have

Let’s take a look at what Ryan Tannehill and Derek Carr have looked like since Tannehill joined the Titans four years ago:

Totals Table
Derek Carr6431-33-01442215866.8164839595.6457.66.8443253.3
Ryan Tannehill5736-19-01085162366.91283189100.5337.96.93819204.7

Provided by View Stathead Tool Used

So looking at that table from Stathead, you can see that Ryan Tannehill has been the better quarterback by nearly every measure.

The only reason why Carr looks better in any category is that he started all four seasons in an offense that passes the ball more. On the other hand, Tannehill had to sit behind Marcus Mariota for the first half of his first season with the Tennessee Titans and then he walked into an offense centered around the running game.

I left all of those volume stats in for the sake of transparency, but you don’t have to take my word that Tannehill was better on a per-game basis than Carr. Stathead actually does that work for everyone and gives a breakdown of what they did per game:

Per Game Table
1Derek Carr22.533.7257.
2Ryan Tannehill19.028.5225.

Provided by View Stathead Tool Used

This is all information that we have on the previous table, just condensed down into a per-game basis. The only stat where Carr has the better number is in passing yards per game, but again Tannehill would have the better number if he threw it as many times because we know his yards per attempt is higher than Carr’s.

Maybe you already knew that Ryan Tannehill was the better regular-season quarterback, but that doesn’t do much to support his argument as the better postseason QB. Luckily, the nice folks over at Stathead have already put in the legwork there too.
This might seem like a small sample size because Ryan Tannehill has only played in 5 playoff games since joining the Titans, but remember there have only been 5 QBs that have played in more playoff games than that since 2019 and those are Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Tom Brady, Joe Burrow, and Jimmy Garoppolo.

Meanwhile, Carr has only played in one (1) playoff game in that time, and he lost.

Playoffs Per Game Table
1Derek Carr29.054.0310.
2Ryan Tannehill13.822.0150.

Provided by View Stathead Tool Used

Once again, in news that shouldn’t shock you at this point, Tannehill outperformed Derek Carr. The current Tennessee Titans QB had more passing yards per attempt, a higher completion percentage, more passing touchdowns, more rushing touchdowns, and you know…actual playoff wins.

If you are frustrated with Ryan Tannehill I get it, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that he is a bad QB or that great QBs grow on trees. If the Tennessee Titans are going to get a better QB, it is going to take a massive swing and it is going to have to be in the 2023 NFL Draft because there is no veteran QB available who has shown that he can do better than Ryan Tannehill over the last four years.

The only reason why anyone should be rooting for Derek Carr to be the next Tennessee Titans QB is if those people are hoping that he helps them land the 1st pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.