Game Grades: Raiders at Chargers

Pass Offense:  Derek Carr had a rough day right from the start, fumbling the very first snap of the game, which led almost immediately to the Chargers scoring the game’s only touchdown. Once he got going, Carr spread it around, hitting eight receivers over the course of the game, but nothing sufficient enough to get in the end zone. Receivers for the most part continue to have trouble getting separation, and at times even run into each other on their routes. The offensive line continues to do an excellent job of preventing sacks; while Carr was sacked twice during this game, his season total is just 12 sacks. Grade:  C-

Rush Offense:  Three words — more Latavius Murray. His four carries for 43 yards were just a teaser, a hint of what a competent running could be for this team. One of Murray’s runs was for 23 yards, amazingly a season high for Raiders running backs. By way of comparison to Murray’s 43 yards, the other four ball carriers (McFadden, Jones-Drew, Reece, and Carr) had a grand total of 28 yards on 19 carries. Any questions? Grade:  D

Pass Defense:  Antonio Smith and Khalil Mack each notched their first sacks for the season, and the line did a fine job keeping pressure on Rivers all day long. Rivers finished with subpar numbers for him (18-34-193-1-0), and came up limping after an especially nasty hit. They did get burned at critical moments by Malcom Floyd and Antonio Gates, but as each of them are 6’5″, Rivers is in the habit of throwing them jump balls, and even elite defenses have trouble with them. This unit continues to improve, despite being stuck on the field for 35 minutes a game. Grade:  C+

Rush Defense:  After last month’s squeaker in Oakland, the Raiders D has learned their lesson about Branden Oliver, holding him to just 36 yards on 13 carries, with a long of 8 yards, and no touchdowns. Ryan Mathews was more successful (16-70), but overall, the 120 total rushing yards was at least below the Raiders average for yards allowed. Grade:  C+

Special Teams:  Nothing particularly good or bad; Janikowski made both his field goal attempts, and King had 9 punts for a 44.7 average. Mike Scifres was San Diego’s most potent weapon by far, dropping punt after punt deep in Raiders territory, forcing hem to start drives with awful field position all day. Denarius Moore appears to have fallen off the wide receiver depth chart and into the punt returner doghouse; at the rate he’s going, he’ll never get out. Grade:  C

Coaching:  If there is an identifiable theme to this season as it progresses, it is something along the line of “too little, too late.” Whether it’s Greg Olson or Tony Sparano, the insistence on running McFadden and Jones-Drew up the middle for two yards, over and over and over again, is perplexing and tedious. They’ve done a good job in scheming the offense to keep Carr upright, but it doesn’t do much good when he’s 3rd and 7 every single possession, and opposing defenses just sit back 8 yards out in a two-deep shell. Maybe if they had brought Murray in a quarter or two earlier, the Raiders might finally have their first win. Someone from the press should ask them about this. Jason Tarver’s defensive unit, as banged up as it is, continues to improve. Brandian Ross, in his second stint with the team, has proven to be a more than adequate substitute for the injured Tyvon Branch, and Charles Woodson continues to play lights-out ball. Grade:  C-

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