Don’t look now, but Carr’s among the league’s best

By Connor Byrne  |   Tuesday, September 19, 2006  |  Comments( 0 )

Houston Texans
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The Houston Texans have started the 2006 regular season in familiar 0-2 fashion, which isn't necessarily surprising if you look at their troubled history. However, everything's not lost in the Lone Star State. The team's most maligned player since it came into the league in 2002 has always been quarterback David Carr, the first overall pick in the 2002 draft.

In Houston's two losses, the former Fresno State star has toyed with the defenses the Texans have faced, completing an unbelievable 75.5 percent of his passes (40-of-53). The 6-foot-3, 230-pounder has also thrown four touchdowns against no interceptions, with a ridiculous QB rating of 123.7.

Carr played one of the best games of his career last Sunday, even though he and the Texans lost by a score of 43-24 to the division-rival Colts. Against Indianapolis' strong defense, Carr completed 22-of-26 passes for 219 yards and three touchdowns. Considering Houston fans wanted Carr cut at the end of last year, those numbers are pretty incredible.

Why the turnaround for Carr? Well, it certainly isn't because of the offensive line. Astoundingly, Carr's porous line allowed 208 sacks against the 27-year-old in his first four years in the league. That trend has continued into this season, with Carr already having been sacked nine times by the Eagles' and Colts' top-notch defenses.

The No. 1 answer to Carr's success is likely poise. The old version of the fifth-year man would have folded behind such a weak line, but not this one. Carr is using his athleticism and cannon arm to toast defenses, which has obviously excited the Texans' fans, players and coaches.

Carr's terrific receivers have been quite a boon to his improvement, too. Adding 33-year-old veteran Eric Moulds in the offseason has so far proven to be an excellent decision. The ex-Buffalo Bill has pulled in 10 catches for 127 yards and a touchdown. Slightly bettering Moulds' production has been the reemerging Andre Johnson, a fourth-year man who has 10 receptions for 157 yards and a TD.

In the past, Carr hasn't possessed the luxury of two excellent wideouts on his side, but he certainly does now. The formerly inconsistent Johnson has clearly benefited from the addition of Moulds, which makes opposing defensive backs respect both receivers instead of double-teaming one.

The fact that Carr has excelled without any semblance of a running game has to be encouraging for first-year head coach Gary Kubiak, whose offensive system has also been a help to the passer. Despite ineptitude from the Texans' platoon of running backs, Carr has still been dominant. These days, it's difficult to find quarterbacks that can still dictate games in a one-dimensional offense (Peyton Manning comes to mind).

No matter how poorly the Texans' record ends up being this year, at least they can take solace in Carr finally becoming the great QB they wanted in the '02 draft. It took Carr awhile to join the big time, but the wait was well worth it.

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