clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Raiders week 8 report card vs Buccaneers: Defense plays well outside of frustrating penalties

New, comments
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Raiders had a big test facing them with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers because of their number 1 wide receiver Mike Evans being one of the best in the NFL. They came away with the overtime win 30-24, but did they win because of the defense or despite it?

Pass Defense

When you hold Mike Evans to just 50 yards on 4 receptions and no touchdowns your pass defense did well. The pass rush only got to Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston 2 times, both from Khalil Mack, but that doesn’t say the whole picture. Winston avoided being sacked often, but he was under duress throughout the game.

The secondary played very well for the most part too, there were only a handful plays that they’d like back from the Buccaneers getting the better of them on. One terrible missed tackle by T.J. Carrie that led to a 42-yard catch and run from Tampa and the touchdown over the top of D.J. Hayden by Russell Shepard are the two plays that stand out most for plays made by the Buccaneers.

Now, the relentless amount of penalties is again the culprit in not having a perfect grade. The Buccaneers offense only got 9 first downs from passing, but they got 6 from penalties. Most of those penalties were on the Raiders secondary. They continuously extended drives for Tampa and it brings their grade down because of it.

Grade: B

Run Defense

Like most of the team stats for Tampa Bay, their run offense was ranked in the middle of the pack. They have averaged 113.5 yards per game which puts them at 13th in the league. Today they ended up with 103 yards so they got close to their average.

Still, the Oakland defense stopped the running game from dominating them and they only gave up 3 first downs to rushing plays. They were very close to keeping them under 100 yards for their total on the day which is always a good goal to have, and they held Jacquizz Rodgers to just 3.6 yards per carry despite him coming in off two good games in a row replacing the injured Doug Martin.

Grade: B


Ken Norton Jr.’s scheme was working well today. He stated coming into the game that they were going to do everything possible to shut Mike Evans down and they accomplished that today. That is big and it was only possible because of the added game planning against him from Ken Norton Jr.

The defenses overall performance was very impressive and speaks well for Norton who has been receiving the most pressure after the slow start for the Raiders defense this season. This was a game where they played like a cohesive unit and showed how well they can play if they trust each other. That took good coaching to bring out of the players.

However, the penalties were pathetic. The players were committing the penalties but the coaching staff never found a way to settle them down. You just cannot repeatedly shoot yourself in the foot like the defense did, and part of that blame must fall on the coaching staff accordingly just like it has effected the rest of the grades across the board.

Grade: B

Overall Defensive Grade: B

Special Teams

This was the worst performance of the season from the special teams. Sebastian Janikowski had two different chances to kick field goals for the win and missed them both. He did convert one shorter field goal and 3 extra points but had the Raiders lost this game a lot of folks would have pointed at the long-distance kicker who missed his long-distance kicks.

Marquette King is a machine who continues to be the best punter in the league, though he did have a couple of punts that were un-King-like. He shanked one and another was meant to pin the Buccaneers deep but went out of bounds at the 18-yard line instead. King did boom a 67-yard punt like we have grown accustomed to even though overall it was his worst game of the season. That sounds harsher than it actually is though, even his worst game this year was a good one.

The return coverage was very good today. There were zero return yards from punts for the Buccaneers (though they had a nice return on King’s 67-yard punt that got called back from a penalty) and only an 18 yard average on their 2 kickoff returns. That brings up the grade some, though it still wasn’t enough to make up for Janikowski’s two big misses.

Special Teams Grade: C-

See Grades for Offense