Oakland Raiders: Week 1 Grades

5 of 5

September 13, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert (85) runs with the football against Oakland Raiders linebacker Curtis Lofton (50) during the first quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Lorscheider

Quarterback: INCL.

Derek Carr struggled to find targets down the field, again, but was also hampered by a very limited play script in the early going and an ineffective run game. He hurt himself while trying to run for a first down midway through the 2nd quarter so we have no way of knowing if he would have been able to get it together and keep the game from spiraling out of control.

Matt McGloin looked like the good backup we know and love aside from an early pick but his two late TD passes might as well not even count.

Running Backs: C

Latavius Murray and Taiwan Jones really couldn’t get much going in the first half as the Raider offensive line got pushed around and didn’t give them anywhere to go. It’s hard to blame the backs. The backs did get involved in the passing game: Latavius Murray led the team in receptions with 7 and Marcel Reece – who I guess still counts as a running back – also scored the Raiders’ only two touchdowns of the game, both as a receiver.

Running backs accounted for 14 of the Raiders’ 30 caught passes and 94 of the team’s 203 total receiving yards.

Wide Receivers: C

Amari Cooper had a rough first real game in the NFL, taking a wicked shot early and then getting assaulted by Pacman Jones during a run play later in the first half. But he hung in there and didn’t get rattled, and managed to haul in five passes for 47 yards.

Michael Crabtree also managed a very strong performance as the Raiders second option, adding another five receptions and 36 yards. Seth Roberts caught 3 passes as the Raiders’ 4th option and Rod Streater added another catch for a solid but not great outing by the Raider wide receiver corps.

Tight Ends: F

Starter Lee Smith only took about 20 snaps as the Raiders abandoned the running game and Mychal Rivera took over 40 snaps. Rookies Clive Walford and Gabe Holmes combined for about 20 offensive snaps as well. And between them they caught two passes for 5 yards. The Raiders offense is going to need a lot better contributions from its’ tight ends in order to be successful.

Offensive Line: C

The Raiders O-Line wasn’t good and wasn’t awful. They were solid in pass protection for most of the game, giving up a couple sacks on slow developing plays with McGloin in the game but otherwise holding up well. The unit struggled to open up space in the run game, however, and the Raiders only managed 3.9 yards per carry and only converted one first down on the ground.

Defensive Backs: F

The secondary was ABYSMAL on Sunday. Andy Dalton looked like Peyton Manning, hitting 25 of 34 passes for 269 yards and two scores. And while the easy thing to do is blame DJ Hayden and the injury to Nate Allen, the truth is that the most glaring flaw was the inability to handle tight end Tyler Eifert in the seam. Charles Woodson was caught out of position more than once and hurt the team in coverage before his injury, and Larry Asante played like a backup.

With Allen and Woodson both out now, don’t look for this unit to get any better. As for the corners, it was bad but not that bad. No Bengal wideout scored and only AJ Green had more than two receptions from the wide receivers group of the Bengals (5 catches for 63 yards).

Linebackers: D

The new-look Raiders linebacking corps looked new alright. Tyler Eifert may have exploited weak safety play in the seam but he also ate up the underneath coverage by Raider linebackers. Mike backer Curtis Lofton, brought in to be a thumper in the run game, had only a pair of tackles, and Ray Ray Armstrong was more a threat to his own teammates than to opposing runners.

Malcolm Smith had a good stat line with 7 tackles, but many of these were in the pass game or after significant gains by the Bengals.

Defensive line: F-

As bad as the Raiders secondary and tight ends were, the defensive line may have put up the most disappointing effort on Sunday. Khalil Mack, Aldon Smith and Justin Tuck combined for ONE QB hit (Smith had it) in 35 dropbacks. Dan Williams and the other interior linemen (Ellis left the game early) failed to push the pocket or control the line of scrimmage and Bengal running backs Jeremy Hill and Giovanni Bernard averaged nearly 4.7 yards per carry combined.

The Bengals also managed a staggering 9 conversions – 7 first downs and two scores – on the ground. The D-line was supposed to be the strength of not only the Raider defense but of the entire team and on Sunday they didn’t look like it at all.

Coaching: D

It’s hard to see a team lose 33-13 and not put a lot of blame on the coaches. Much blame does lie with Jack Del Rio and his staff. Bill Musgrave’s offensive game plan was lousy in the early going, and Ken Norton’s defense let the game get so far out of hand that Musgrave was forced to lean on the pass for most of the second half.

Norton – and Del Rio, who retains a lot of control over to defense – got totally out coached by Hue Jackson, who was motivated to send a message to the team that fired him after a single season. The defense had no answer for Tyler Eifert, who seemed to find his way into every weak spot in the Raiders pass coverage. Hopefully some lessons can be learned from this loss, both by players and by staff. If not it’s going to be a long year.

Overall: F 

An offseason full of promises, roster moves and draft picks and what do we get? The second worst home opener in franchise history.

The game was so awful in all phases it’s not worth breaking them down separately. Greg Olsen-esque offensive play calling. Stupid mistakes that resulted in penalties, blown assignments and injuries – like the one that knocked our starting quarterback out of the game. The pass rush we SHOULD have seen from Khalil Mack and Aldon Smith mostly failed to materialize and the secondary was as bad as we thought it would be. The offensive line was pushed around and we couldn’t run the ball anywhere. Amari Cooper got flat-out BULLIED by the Bengals secondary.

I’m wondering how we were so blinded by some decent preseason performances. We just have to hope that today was the fluke, that Hue Jackson called the game of his life and our offense couldn’t ever get going after losing Carr. The alternative would be to believe that this team is just as bad as last years’, and I can’t accept that just yet.