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Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has taken the Raiders from a decade of losing to Super Bowl contenders in just a matter of a few seasons.

A primary reason for this has been Carr’s incredible improvements from his rookie season.

For example, Carr completed just 15 of his 71 deep balls (23.9 percent) his rookie season for 565 yards with two touchdowns against two interceptions. This stat line ranked him dead last in the NFL during 2014, via Bleacher Report’s Doug Farrar.

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In 2015, Carr completed 25 of his 66 deep balls (37.9 percent) for 831 yards, 12 touchdowns and just three interceptions, a vast improvement.

His growth continued in 2016 as he completed 26 of 56 deep balls (46.4 percent) for eight touchdowns and two interceptions.

Obviously, the numbers aren’t completely due to Carr’s improvement as Oakland brought in star receivers Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper and upgraded the offensive line by signing center Rodney Hudson and guard Kelechi Osemele.

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Hopefully, the numbers will continue to improve with the additions of Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch, to bring the safeties into the box, and Raiders tight end Jared Cook down the seam.

Nonetheless, Carr has worked tirelessly ever since he entered the NFL. His arduous work has paid off so far, and there is no reason to think it will ever stop.

Ryan is currently a student at the University of North Carolina. He grew up in the Bay Area and has had Raiders season tickets his entire life fostering his love for the NFL. He has founded his own sports website, thejrreport.com and works at the Sports Desk for the Daily Tar Heel. You can follow Ryan on twitter @rytime98 if you want to discuss anything sports.
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