Monthly Archives: October 2015
The Oakland Raiders secured a huge victory over the San Diego Chargers, on Oct. 25. Not only did they win on the road versus a division opponent, but they dominated from the beginning.
What was the biggest reason? The Raiders finally got development from their young players.
D.J. Hayden caught an interception of Philip Rivers, that electrified Raider fans across the country. Hayden has been one of our biggest liabilities on defense, but the team needed him to perform. Hayden also racked 10 tackles during the contest. If he can continue creating turnovers, Hayden might become a legit starting corner.
Clive Walford finally caught his first touchdown pass. After being hyped through mini-camp, Walford sat out almost all of training camp. Derek Carr missed a tight end target in the middle of the field all season. He found one in this contest as Walford caught his first touchdown pass. Look for that connection to continue getting stronger. Walford brings blocking and catching skills. He should secure most of the reps at tight end moving forward.
Running back Taiwan Jones also made a contribution. The special teams player and former corner back finally showed the running ability he had at Eastern Carolina, before the Raiders drafted him as a running back in the fourth round. Jones missed 17 of the last 22 games with different injuries. Now that he is healthy, he is the perfect compliment to Latavius’ Murray’s physical running style. Jones converted a key first down and racked up more than thirty yards on 3 plays.
Of course, Amari Cooper balled out too. He took a screen play 52 yards to the house, in the first half. Cooper finished with another 100 yard game. He once again showed he is one of the best receivers in the league.
Lastly, Derek Carr made the whole team go. Once again, Carr displayed the poise and confidence that the Raiders need as a Leader. He threw three touchdown passes to three different receivers. Best of all, he did not throw any interceptions. Look out, Carr might be the best quarterback in California after defeating Philip Rivers.
The Raiders need continued development from their young players moving forward. Nonetheless, some of the crop made strides versus the Chargers. See what they can do next against the New York Jets Nov. 1.
On defense, the Oakland Raiders have not done much well. They have faced plenty of growing pains in a new scheme with a new defensive coordinator. Between Jack Del Rio and Ken Norton Jr. leading this group, they should be playing a lot better.
Against the Bengals, Jeremy Hill tore apart the Raiders defense. Versus the Ravens, Joe Flacco looked precise and comfortable. Then against the Browns, Josh McCown kept his team in the game. Even Jay Cutler looked like a good quarterback against the Raiders.
So what has been consistent?
It has not been the passing defense. Everyone knows the Raider can not cover a tight end. Someone on Twitter said they want to be reincarnated as a tight end versus the Raiders, get in line bruh.
Then the secondary has been a mixed back. They make plays but they also make plenty of mistakes.
Here are some more specifics on position grades, after four games played.
Defensive Line: B-
The Raiders defensive line has played respectable. They have not been terrible, but they have not dominated either.
They find ways to create pressure, but not as a unit. To be fair, Aldon Smith just joined the unit. Justin Tuck and Justin Ellis have been on the injury report for a while. Khalil Mack also suffered an injury.
Outside of that, Denico Autry and Stacy McGee proved they are a little more than bums. C.J. Wilson and Mario Edwards should perform better with whatever snaps they get.
Hopefully they can bring it all together before the mid point of the season.
The Raiders made headlines by completely rebuilding their linebacker corps. Gone are starters Miles Burris and Sio Moore from the past regime. Khalil Mack plays defensive end now.
However, the new additions have not been lights out. Ray Ray Armstrong struggled early. He seems to be getting more comfortable, but is he anything more than a depth guy?
Curtis Lofton struggles in pass coverage still. Personally, I would like to see him create some turnovers.
Malcolm Smith has probably been the best in the group. He too struggles in pass coverage though.
As a unit, their best games were probably against the Browns and Bears. Aldon Smith also plays linebacker but he gets a pass as he was a late addition.
The Raiders secondary was mediocre at best. Now, they are mangled and doing their best to stay afloat. D.J. Hayden and T.J. Carrie both take turns getting picked apart. Charles Woodson and whoever has played in Nate Allen’s void also get beat in coverage.
Kudos to the coaching staff for finding David Amerson, he looks like he can be a contributor.
Nonetheless, the group is banged up. They’ve also saved themselves by creating some crucial turnovers. Against Baltimore and Cleveland, the secondary saved the game with an interception in the final moments.
What do you think about the Raiders defense thus far?
Editor’s note: Sorry, I have neglected my own voice on Silver and Blog. I’ve been wrapped-up in obligations with Endzonescore.com, Justblogbaby.com and Sportsoutwest.com. You can find plenty of Raiders opinion and news on my personal Twitter: @Petecertified.
For some odd reason, people like to think in fours. In this case, the Raiders played four games in the 2015 season, which is a quarter of their sixteen.
Thus far it has been a mix bag for the rising Raiders. Against the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens, the Raiders fielded a high-powered offense. Their defense found ways to make plays that sealed the game in an Oakland victory.
In the Chicago Bears game, the offense looked inconsistent as well as the defense. Then there was the week one game against the Cincinnati Bengals, which resulted in a blow-out.
Through four games the Oakland Raiders provide more questions than answers. The truth is, the Raiders have not established an identity through four games.
Are they truly a team on the rise? Or are they really a young team destined for more growing pains?
Here is how the positions groups fared thus far.
Derek Carr pretty much sums up the Raiders by his inconsistency. One week he delivers bombs through tight windows. Another week he is the same dump-off quarterback from last season. Carr delivers some beautiful balls and avoids pressure. However, he also misfires more than a few times.
Nonetheless, he gets a positive grade for being the developing leader.
Running Backs: B
Latavius Murray racked-up one monster game versus the Cleveland Browns. Outside of that, Murray has been effective in the passing game. With the exception of the Chicago Bears game, Murry also found cut-back seems and trucked defenders in each game.
Taiwan Jones, Roy Helu and Marcel Reece also looked good throughout the season. It is rewarding to see the offense actually trying to give them roles.
Amari Cooper is as advertise. If you’ve watched a game you know that. He has made crucial plays in each of the Raiders games. Michael Crabtree revived his career as a possession receiver. He seems to be the consistent pass catcher the Raiders need complimenting Cooper.
Further, undrafted rookie Seth Roberts surprised me with his touchdown plays this season. He brings an added element stretching the field. I’m still waiting for Rod Streater or Andre Holmes to remind people of their potential. I might be waiting for a while.
Tight Ends: D
This grade is more a result of the group’s preseason hype. Between Mychael Rivera, Lee Smith, and Clive Watford, the Raiders have talent at the position. Yet, has one racked up more than ten yards a game?
They’ve been decent blockers. However, Carr could use one of them as a weapon in the middle of the field. Someone needs to step-up as a receiver moving forward.
Offensive Line: B-
Speaking of inconsistent, insert the Raiders offensive line. They have not been terrible. Carr has not been sacked a lot. However, they lack significant push for their running backs. Moreover, it might be unfair to group these guys together. The leftside deserves an A grade, while the right side is just above average. I can’t forget about Rodney Hudson’s penalties the first couple of weeks too.
How would you grade the Raiders performance through four games?
Stay posted for the Defensive Quarterly Report, tomorrow