Post-bye week has not been kind to the Oakland Raiders and after losing two straight it was a concern that the bad times would continue for the Silver and Black. But, the Raiders offense came out clicking and put up 37 points in their week 7 win against the San Diego Chargers. Let's break down the grades for the Raiders offense.
Derek Carr has had 300 yard passing games and he has had multiple TD games, but the way the second-year QB called this game and controlled the tempo was something Raider fans haven't seen since the days of Rich Gannon. Carr made the smart throws and used all the weapons at his disposal as he threw for 289 yards and 3 scores. His 137.7 QB Rating is a season-high and his three touchdown passes ties a season-high. Putting together a string of games like this will show that Carr will reach top-tier level before the season is over
Running Backs: A
The running game was going to be a focal point for fans and the team coming out of a bye week. Latavius Murray might not have rushed for a 100 yards, but he went for 85 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown. It was exactly the type of performance that Murray needed after two mediocre games heading into the bye week. The whole run game finished with 130 yards on 26 carries with multiple runs of 10+ yards. It was a big jolt of energy for the team to get Taiwan Jones back as he proved to be a strong change of pace back.
Offensive Line: B+
Carr got sacked once and the run game was strong, but there several drives that were killed due to penalties on Donald Penn. Whether or not those calls were justified, they still ended any type of momentum the Raiders had on those drives. Overall, it was a strong performance by the O-Line and they showed they are a mean group that will NOT be pushed around.
Wide Receivers: A
There were not too many balls thrown in the direction of wide receivers that weren't caught for positive yardage. Rookie Amari Cooper continues to impress as he had his third 100 yard of the game. He finished with 133 yards on 5 receptions and added a score on a memorable 52 yard touchdown catch and run. Michael Crabtree added 6 receptions for 63 yards and a score of his own. Carr has built chemistry with his top two receivers and it paid dividends against the Chargers.
Tight Ends: A
It was a coming out party for rookie Clive Walford. The player out of Miami had 2 receptions for 42 yards and a score on a beautifully thrown ball from Carr. Lee Smith and Mychal Rivera were safety valves, but Rivera came thru down the stretch as he recovered two onside kicks including the game-clincher with six seconds left.
Offense overall: A-
Jack Del Rio and company had the Raiders ready to go after a week off and it showed. It has been a while since a team donning the Silver and Black looked so complete. All three facets contributed to this win and it was the type of performance one would expect from a team with two weeks to prepare for an opponent. The next step for this team is to learn how to finish games. JDR and Co. have shown they can make adjustments and implement different ways to win games, so it is safe to assume that the Raiders will be better prepared when it comes to finishing off an opponent.