Rookie Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has a John Elway-type arm. And that weapon will make a pretty auspicious debut on Sunday–Carr will take his first snaps in New York. Talk about being in the spotlight. (Technically, yes, the Raiders play the New York Jets in New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium, but the big New York media will be there–looking for a star.) Carr’s hoping that after the game those reporters are still talking about his Elway-like gun and not his rookie mistakes. Jets Coach Rex Ryan, famous for defensive schemes, lost a lot of weight in the last year and critics say his defense–especially the secondary–may have lost some too. And not in a good way. The Jets like to play the heavy on D and they’ve got a vulnerable rookie to intimidate, if they can. It’s early for any game to define a team but the Jets don’t want to get lit up by a guy who’s never thrown an NFL regular season pass before.
Jets fans don’t have good memories of Elway–and they hope Carr looks nothing like him today. Derek Carr is the first rookie ever to start on opening day for the storied Raiders franchise. Carr ripped the job away from expensive veteran Matt Schaub, despite being just a second round pick. In his last preseason game–against the indomitable Seahawks–he completed 11 of 13 passes and threw three touchdowns. Watch the kid. He could be the next superstar.