Battle of the Back-Ups: Warner vs. Carr


Five weeks into the regular season, and both the Arizona Cardinals and the Carolina Panthers sit at respectable marks of 3-2. But from this point on, it appears the fortunes of this season for these two teams will ride on the right arms of two former starters: Kurt Warner and David Carr.

Warner takes full time duties under center now following the injury to Matt Leinart’s collarbone in week 5. Warner has played well in his brief times on the field over the last three games and spurred the team to victory over St Louis on Sunday. He has shown flashes of the brilliance he displayed during his glory days with the Rams, but can he be an every down QB once again instead of just the change-of-pace guy?

Carr started last week for the injured Jake Delhomme, who we now know will miss the rest of the season after having surgery to repair his damaged throwing elbow. We all should know Carr’s history; after four years with the Houston Texans, Carr spent most of his playing time on the turf and was mediocre at best in four straight losing seasons in Texas. But he showed some toughness in coming back against the Saints last week to lead his team to a last second victory, so does he have the spark for Carolina?

Neither of these guys expected to see the field too much this year, but that’s not to say that they can’t get the job done. But this was supposed to be Leinart’s breakout season. This was supposed to be a season in which Delhomme showed consitency and returned to his 2003-04 form in which he led the Panthers to the Super Bowl. But now with both starters down, it’s time for these former #1s to to step in and be the leader of two promising teams.

So who has the edge?…….who do you think!?!?

Kurt Warner: 10 year veteran, 2 Time NFL MVP, Super Bowl MVP

That’s a pretty impressive resume for a back up QB in the NFL. Warner has looked sharp thus far, and appears to be returning to that MVP form from years past. Over the last four games he has played in (going back to the last season’s finale against San Diego), he has completed 63% of his passes for over 900 yards, 6 TDs and 1 INT enroute to a passer rating of over 100. And with Anquan Boldin returning to the line up, Warner will have both of his top flight receivers to choose from.

As for Carr, well lets say that he’s going to continue his streak of being sacked at least once in 23 consecutive games that he has played in. He doesn’t read coverages very well, he is careless with the football and is prone to hold on to the ball to long, which is what is helping to keep this streak alive. His health now is an issue after he injured his back last week in New Orleans. Lets face it, even at 100% David Carr is a middle of the road NFL QB, and the fact that he is maybe only at 80% now going into Sunday’s game against a very active Cardinals defense does not bode well for the Panthers.

Bottom Line: In the NFL, the quarterback position is still the most crucial position on the football field. And between these two QBs, I think it is pretty clear that Kurt Warner’s experience, his accuracy, and his football smarts places him in class that David Carr will more than likely never reach in his career.

Mike Duggan