This is the catharsis portion of the Ballers & Busters. Or you could see it like a car accident -- many will shield their eyes while others can't help but gawk with morbid curiosity. Well, in this case I appreciate those rubberneckers among you who can handle the horror that lies ahead of you.
Just remember, the season is behind you now and the future is much brighter. And also take comfort that you aren't alone screaming at your TV anymore. You no longer have to feel like that tree falling in the forest wondering if there is anyone to hear it.
A eight-time Buster including two-time Top Buster. He was a Buster every week from week 3 through week 6 including being Top Buster in week 5. In week three, all the Raiders defensive backs were abused by Peyton Manning but none worse than Jenkins. He gave up five catches for 122 yards and a touchdown. This included a 61-yard pass play in which he missed the tackle to give up most of the yards on the play. He didn't play in the team's second meeting with Manning and the Broncos or we would probably have seen him as a Buster again.
Jenkins seemed to make his best plays on big hits. But as a cornerback, he gambled way too much. He also was far too often making the tackle after the catch rather than preventing the catch in the first place. Other times, he would give up the catch and then miss the tackle. When you allow a cushion as Jenkins often did, that's going to happen.
He missed that tackle that allowed Robert Griffin III to complete a 28-yard pass which set up the Redskins' game winning touchdown in week 4. He nearly gave away the Chargers game when he was called for unnecessary roughness and then gave up a touchdown pass.
In week 11 against Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Texans, Jenkins gave up ten catches including a 23-yard catch and a pass interference penalty on the drive that allowed the Texans to pull within one score late. In week 13 against Dallas, he gave up the game-tying touchdown catch, In week 14 against the Jets, he gambled trying to an interception and gave up a 30-yard catch that set up the Jets' first touchdown.
Opposing quarterbacks had a 104.8 passer rating, completing 70% of their passes against him. He had just 4 passes defended on the season with two interceptions. He was also flagged ten times which is fourth most in the NFL among cornerbacks. One of the worst such penalties was the taunting penalty he had in week 16 which kept a Chargers drive alive that allowed them to drive for the go-ahead touchdown... which he gave up.
A five-time Buster, he at one time had been named a Busters in every game he was healthy. He was the absolute worst rated offensive guard in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus. He is by far the worst pass blocking guard in the NFL and the second worst run blocking guard.
He was a Buster right from the start of the season against the Colts. With the Raiders set up in first and goal at the nine-yard line, Nix missed his block to give up a sack for a 16-yard loss. When Pryor tried to get the yards back, it resulted in the game-clinching interception. He gave up a sack the following week along with several run stuffs and landed on the Buster list again.
He would miss the next two games, and when he returned to health, the Raiders offensive line had it's weak link back. He gave up a sack on third down in his return. In week nine, he gave up pressure that resulted in another sack. It was quite a relief to get Jared Veldheer back in week 12 because his return helped shore up two positions as Khalif Barnes kicked inside to replace Nix.
All told, Nix gave up 5 sacks and 33 pressures on the season not to mention countless run stuffs. That's the most sacks and nearly the most pressures among guards. Those numbers would place him among the worst among even offensive tackles.
There was a few games early in the season in which Pryor looked to have improved greatly as a passer. He was even a Baller four times and Top Baller once. But by midseason, NFL defenses had caught onto his tendencies and began to exploit them. By the time he went out with a knee injury, he had sunk to franchise historic lows. He had also been named a Buster four times, three of which he was top Buster.
He returned for the Raiders' season finale against the Broncos and returned to the Buster list as well. He was Top Buster, in fact. Primarily because the talk among many was how Pryor never had a healthy offensive line, running back corps, or wide receiver corps. He had all those things in the finale. He was also going against one of the worst defenses in the NFL without both its' top pass rushers on the field. This game was over by the end of three quarters at which point Pryor had completed all of eight passes for 58 yards with zero points on the board.
He finished the season as one of the worst quarterbacks in all of football. He had the fourth most penalties (8), in the bottom 7 in completion percentage (57.4%), bottom ten in yards per attempt (6.6), the fewest passing touchdowns of any quarterback with at least 300 drop backs (7), the most interceptions of any quarterback with at least 250 attempts (11), and the second worst passer rating (69.1).
Also, for all his elusiveness he was sacked 31 times - the most of any quarterback with few than 400 drop backs. And if you think that was a product of the offensive line, consider that Matt McGloin in six starts was sacked fewer times (6) than any quarterback in football with at least 150 drop backs. But hey, Pryor set the new quarterback rushing mark for the Raiders. So, that's exciting.
Jacoby was a Busters just twice this season, one of which was Top Buster. His absence from the Buster list had more to do with his absence from the lineup than anything. He appeared in 14 games this season but rarely saw action as a receiver. When he did, the results were not good. He had just 13 catches for 99 yards on the season.
He was returning kicks for the first six games of the season before being switched to punt returner in week 9 against the Steelers. That switch lasted all of one game. Ford fumbled his first return, muffed the second punt when he should have stayed away from it. Then he would fumble AGAIN late in the game. This time the Steelers recovered at the Raiders' 11-yard line and would score a touchdown. He was finally stripped of his return duties as of week 13. In the next three games, he touched the ball just four times (3 catches, 1 rush). The final two games of the season he was a made inactive.
Believe it or not, I do give Dennis Allen a lot of leeway based on what he had to deal with this season. On the other hand, great coaches make bad teams look better than they are. That didn't happen this season. Allen was named a Buster six times this season. Four of those times occurred in the team's 6-game losing streak to finish out the season. In week 12, the Raiders were not prepared to face the greatness that is Ryan Fitzpatrick and fell to the Titans. The rest of the season ill-preparedness and discipline were a real problem. The Raiders weren't at all prepared for this new-fangled "screen pass" the Chiefs introduced in week 15 which gouged them time and time again until the Chiefs had racked up a Raiders franchise record 56 points. The following week against San Diego, the Raiders had 16 flags thrown on them (12 accepted). Those penalties destroyed any chance the Raiders had of winning that one. Then the odd decision to start Terrelle Pryor for the final game of the season while continuing to use the "best chance of winning" line. There really wasn't much the offense could have done to win that one. But zero points in three quarters sure wasn't getting it done.
Early in the season, while the offense couldn't get out of its own way, it was the defense who was winning games for the Raiders. That began to crumble come midseason and by season's end, this defense was the worst in the NFL. The first big exposure came in week nine against the Eagles when Nick Foles threw for an NFL record tying, and franchise record breaking seven touchdown passes in a beat down at home to the Eagles. That was the start of the meltdown that slowly got worst as the season went on. After that, the Raiders went to New York and revived the then 2-6 Giants offense. The following week they nearly blew a lead against the worst team in football in Houston. The week after that, they DID blow the game on the final drive to the rudderless Titans led by the aforementioned Ryan Fitzpatrick. The big choke began before half time in Dallas, then they gave up 37 points to the Jets - the most they had scored all season --, had another historic loss in giving up 56 points to the Chiefs the following week. In the finale, Peyton Manning scored a quick 31 points in the first half and set all kinds of records before exiting the hero. The Raiders defense was just plain terrible the latter half of the season and Tarver's schemes were completely transparent. Tarver was named a Buster five times over the final nine games, including Top Buster three times.
Ross took over for Tyvon Branch in week two when Branch went out with a broken fibula. Ross would start the final 14 games for the Raiders this season where he proved to be the absolute worst safety in the NFL. But no need to take my word for it, Pro Football Focus rates him as the worst in the league. Ross was a Buster three times over the Raiders final eight games and was top Buster twice. He was a big part of the debacle in which Nick Foles passed for seven touchdowns on the Raiders. He also shared Top Buster spot with most of the secondary in letting Ryan Fitzpatrick pass all over them and lead a game winning drive in the final seconds.
The following week against the Cowboys was his worst of the season, which is saying a lot. He took sole possession of Top Buster spot for this game. You can sum up his day in three plays. He gave up a 22-yard catch on the Cowboys first actual touchdown drive, missed a tackle on the Cowboys next drive to allow a 45-yard run to set up their second touchdown, then on third down on the next drive he lost containment and Jason Witten made one cut and took it for 19 yards and the Cowboys would score the go-ahead touchdown. All told, Ross contributed to 112 yards of offense for the Cowboys; most of which came on scoring drives.
In the end, Tyvon Branch would not return to the lineup and was placed on IR. The defense suffered greatly by his absence and the presence of Brandian Ross in his stead.
He had the NFL's lowest field goal percentage -- 70%. He attempted 30 field goals this season and missed nine of them. He missed two kicks under 40 yards and three kicks under 50, both of which would be pretty much unthinkable for Janikowski in most seasons. He then missed four more kicks outside of 50 yards. He missed a field goal in the opener that caused the Raiders to need a touchdown at the end and they lost by four. He missed a field goal in week four that made it a two possession game at the end. He missed two field goals in a four-point loss to the Titans in week 12. He missed a golden opportunity on a field goal try at the end of the first half against the Jets that might have changed the fortunes of the team in the second half. Then he sent off his season with a 42-yard miss in the finale.
Hunter was simply invisible most of the season. He didn't provide much in the way of a pass rush and it contributed greatly to the defensive collapse the latter half of the season. He was named a Buster three times this season but it could easily have been more. When a guy does relatively nothing, he can sometimes fly under the radar. In the Raiders loss where they gave up 37 points to the offense deprived Jets, Hunter was nowhere to be found in the box score. That was fairly common for him this season. While I like to talk about the grading by Pro Football Focus, only three 4-3 defensive ends graded out worse than Hunter this season. He was also the only 4-3 DE to get a negative grade in every category. He finished with just 18 tackles this season.
Adams started just two games this season, though he played extensive minutes in five games from weeks 10 thru 14 in relief of the D.J. Hayden. After those five games, the staff had seen enough and he was replaced at nickel corner by Chimdi Chekwa. Chekwa was not much better but if Adams hadn't been so bad, the team never would have needed to find another option. Adams returned to nickel corner in the season finale and was once again a Buster. In those six games, he gave up 23 catches which would have put him in the top ten in catches surrendered on the season. And those spots are usually reserved for starting corners who see the bulk of the snaps.
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