Oakland Raiders Week 7 Stats Breakdown and Awards

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Oct 25, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders tight end Lee Smith (86) is defended by San Diego Chargers defensive end Kendall Reyes (91) on a run after a third quarter catch at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

PFF Stats Breakdown

Rodney Hudson: Hudson was awarded a +6.5 overall grade, +1.1 in Pass Block and +4.8 in Run Block and even added an extra +.5 in Screen Blocking. Amari Cooper should send a thank you card to the big man for the devastating block he laid on the Chargers defender to open up the second level of running space he needed to take the screen pass 52 yards to the score. Hudson could be seen all day making great blocks for Murray in the second level as well.

Hudson’s +6.5 grade was the highest given to any Center in the NFL. His marks were also high enough to make him the 3rd highest rated offensive player in the league, and 7th rated player overall. The big man has been earning his paycheck all year, and he continued to do so on Sunday against the Chargers.

Amari Cooper: Cooper’s overall grade of +3.4 not only lead offensive skill positions on the Raiders, but was also good enough to make him the second-highest rated wide receiver in the NFL. Only Jacksonville’s Allen Robinson scored higher, though I can’t for the life of me see why. Cooper outperformed Allen in every single aspect of the game.

Cooper added yet another stellar performance to his young career by being the first rookie since Mike Ditka to tally 100+ receiving yards in 3 of his first 6 games (via ESPN Stats and Info). He is the first rookie in Raiders history to have 400 receiving yards in the first 6 games, and one of only three rookies since the NFL/AFL merger to have 500 receiving yards in the first six games. This young man is not just a glimmer of hope for the Raider nation, but a big bright shining beacon of hope.

Khalil Mack: Another stellar performance from Mack, earning a +5.2 grade. This game saw Mack taking on a role similar to what he did last year; dropping back in coverage (+.9 in pass coverage) and being used to stop the run more (+4.4 in Run Defense).

Even though he didn’t notch a sack, he still picked up six QB hurries.Mack is a force, that much is true, and it’s evident that teams are planning for him, especially in preventing him from getting sacks. As Mack hones his skills, his sack totals will come. I’m honestly more interested in how he can help the team overall.

If that means dropping him back in coverage, and having him read the play before pounding forward after the QB to ensure no one runs past him, then so be it.  I want wins for the Raiders,  I don’t care if that means fewer sacks for Mack. Plus, the defense played so efficiently, they were on and off the field so quickly they were limited in their chances to get at Rivers.

Derek Carr: “The Future” Derek Carr played an incredibly efficient game to get a +3.2 grade overall. That grade was good enough to tie for 3rd overall in the NFL, and his overall QB rating of 137.7 put him only behind Ryan Tannehill. Though, due to the very low number of attempts Tannehill took, I think his QB rating is a bit skewed, his overall PFF grade of 1.7 is a more practical look at his performance.

Carr hit on 24 of his 31 pass attempts for his season high 77.4% completion percentage, 289 yards, 3 TD passes, and no interceptions. His total passing yards seems kind of low for such a great game, and that was due to the stellar performance by the Raiders defense and special teams. The Raiders enjoyed great field position throughout the game.

Carr had an all around great game, probably one of the best of his career in terms of efficiency, and judgment. He put together a balanced performance, playing aggressively by taking shots down the field, but not forcing the ball into dangerous situations. Carr had two passes that Derek Carr of 2014 probably would have been picked off on, but a combination of his growth as a QB and his offensive weapons turned both into big plays.

The first was the perfectly placed pass to Walford down the seam. Carr saw the defender had his back to him, and placed the ball right over his shoulder and hit Walford in the numbers for a nice gain. The second was the “50/50” ball he thew to Cooper.  It could be argued that Carr hung onto the ball just a bit too long, but he put the ball in the perfect spot of Cooper to have the best chance at catching it.

Here is my thought process on the possibly outcomes of that throw. Keep in mind is was 3rd down and forever, and the Raiders were out of field goal range. 1) Cooper makes the catch, first and goal for the Raiders (That’s what happened, successful play). 2) Cooper misses the ball, and it goes incomplete, Raiders punt. 3) Cooper misses the ball, it gets picked off and the Chargers get the ball deep in their own territory.

As Carr’s hero Brett Favre used to say, “A deep pass picked off on 3rd down is just like a punt right?.” Carr was playing great situational football there in my opinion. Gave his star a chance to shine and he did.

Dan Williams: The big man in the middle, known for stopping the run put up a +1.9 grade based off of his Pass Rush grade of +2.4. Williams is a beast in the middle of the line, showing up big with 2 stops in the run game, and 4 QB hurries. Only Mack had more hurries than Williams in this game.

Williams is the type of player that can truly anchor a defensive line. He’s typically underrated as a pass rusher, but he has the ability to get after the less mobile players like Rivers.  His size gives him the ability to take two linemen on at a time to hopefully open up gaps for blitzing linebackers like Malcolm Smith and his leadership is showing up in Tuck’s absence.

Lee Smith: Lee put together a great performance as an honorary member of the offensive line being one of only two players on the team to score a positive grade in both Pass Blocking and Run Blocking (Rodney Hudson being the other one) to give him and overall grade of +1.7. This was Lee’s best overall game of the year.

While Lee is primarily a blocking Tight End, it should be noted that on the season he has been targeted by Carr six times and has six catches, averaging 6.3 yards per reception. These aren’t blockbuster numbers, but he has proven to be a reliable safety blanket for Carr when he needs to check down to the option.

Next: Stats Breakdown: Offense