A post-game breakdown of the Oakland Raiders win over the San Diego Chargers, handing out letter grades to each positional group.
After the Thursday Night loss to the division rival Kansas City Chiefs, the Oakland Raiders bounced back with yet another win in Raider-esque fashion, coming from behind to beat the San Diego Chargers by a score of 19-16.
There were some things in this game to be very hopeful about, as well as some things that could be a cause for concern going down the road. Here’s a breakdown.
Derek Carr had another ‘so-so’ game by his standards. Carr went 19/30 for 213 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception, and he had a a QBR of 57.2 — a relatively pedestrian stat-line compared to what we have seen earlier in the year.
Not being able to take snaps from under center has hurt the red zone offense immensely the past two weeks. Although the stats do not look gaudy, Carr was able to go 6 of 9 for 111 yards with a QB rating of 109.0 when pressured. Carr has made enormous strides in this area compared to his rookie season, and he’s also made significant improvement in this area even based on last season.
Considering all of that, it goes without saying that Carr has been the leading force behind the Raiders clinching their first playoff birth since the 2002 Super Bowl season. Whether it was pretty or not, the Raiders were able to capitalize on a Chiefs loss and move back atop the AFC West, and are now in control of their own path moving forward, and their quarterback was a huge part in that.
The running game has officially turned the corner, and it has come at a great time. Although Latavius Murray had a momentum killing red zone fumble, he still led all running backs with 13 carries for 81 yards, and had long runs of 33 yards and 27 yards.
Jalen Richard aka ‘The Pocket Rocket’ came in and once again made an impact as a change-of-pace back, just as he has done all season. Richard had 6 carries for 36 yards as well as 4 receptions for 13 yards out of the backfield.
Was there a DeAndre Washington sighting yesterday in San Diego? After being a healthy scratch for the past few games, Washington came in and contributed with 5 carries for 23 yards and 1 reception for 11 yards.
The running back group as a whole put up 145 yards on 29 carries for an average of 5 yards per carry, and they did this against a top 10 rushing defense. That, ladies and gentlemen, is impressive. And it could not be coming at a better time, considering the playoffs are less than a month away.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
The wide receivers were subpar Sunday afternoon. Other than Michael Crabtree, there were not really any impact plays on the stat sheet. Crabtree led the way with 6 receptions for 60 yards and the lone touchdown for the Raiders offense. Amari Cooper had only 1 reception for 28 yards, Seth Roberts had 2 receptions for 27 yards and Andre Holmes chipped in with a 23-yard reception.
One way or another, Bill Musgrave must find a way to get Cooper more involved. Over the past four games, Cooper has had only 12 receptions for 138 yards.
The tight ends had another below average performance. Mychal Rivera and Clive Walford combined for 2 receptions for 28 yards, but Rivera in particular dropped a crucial 29=yard reception early in the 4th quarter which would end up stalling a drive.
The offensive line has proven all season long that they are elite. They proved it once again Sunday afternoon. Although as a group they allowed 2 sacks, you could make an argument that one of those sacks was due to Derek Carr for holding onto the ball for a little too long.
The offensive line opened up huge holes for the running backs, which was the main reason Latavius Murray and Jalen Richard were able to break those big runs that they did. The O-Line helped in gashing the Chargers run defense for nearly 150 yards.
Donald Penn continued to play at an elite level and deserves All-Pro consideration, as he has not allowed a single sack all season.