Was Derek Carr or Chris Olave to blame for this deep miss?

The Saints frustration spilled over on Thursday night, and it went deeper than TE Foster Moreau dropping the game-tying touchdown. One play being heavily scrutinized on Friday morning involves Derek Carr and Chris Olave on a deep pass at the start of the fourth quarter.

Football fans have really divided into two camps on who is at fault on this one. From the video it appears that Olave is running a fly route, but pulls up and starts jogging as the ball sails over his head.

Carr is seemingly furious as a result, and appears to be screaming “RUN” directed at Olave, presumably upset his WR gave up on the route. However, this seems a little ridiculous when you break down the film.

The quarterback takes a three-step drop against Cover defense. At his normal release point Carr pump fakes the ball, before holding onto it longer — trying to see if Olave is open. When it comes time to throw he has immense pressure on him, and simply hucks the ball.

Even at full speed there’s a cornerback in prime position to cover the pass. In addition not only is the ball six yards past Olave, but out of bounds to an extreme amount. I don’t actually think this was an inaccurate pass from Carr, I think he did what he intended do: Throw it away.

This answers why the ball was so far out of bounds, and even with Carr’s sometimes questionable accuracy he’s not usually that far off. Now, he could have been mad because in his estimation Olave should have gotten a step on the DB — but that’s a pretty unfair charge given the defense they were facing.

To me, the big issue with this play wasn’t whatever was happening with Olave on the sideline — but the fact Carr was totally locked on Olave and missed everyone else. Apologies for the blurry screencap, but take a look at this.

Look at Michael Thomas at the 28 yard line. Thomas is running a 15-yard dig on this play, which is perfect against Cover. He shakes his cornerback on the move, and the safety is committed deep. If Carr forgets about Olave being blanketed at the bottom he has a huge window to hit Thomas and pick up the first down. If he places the ball well there’s a major YAC opportunity here as well where Thomas could turn upfield and gain an extra 5-10 yards because of how deep the safeties are playing.

This opening already appeared before Carr threw the ball, so it’s not like Thomas’ separation was late developing either.

So at the end of the day the throw to Olave itself wasn’t really on the WR or the QB, however missing Thomas was 100 percent on Derek Carr who simply didn’t see the receiver.

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