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Raiders week 8 report card vs Buccaneers: Derek Carr’s performance solidifies standing in MVP race

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The game this Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was a wacky and wild affair that ended in a 30-24 OT victory for the Oakland Raiders. How well did the Raiders offense perform against a middle of the pack Buccaneers defense?

Pass Offense

Derek Carr solidified himself as a candidate for NFL MVP by dropping dimes all over the Bucs’ secondary. Tampa Bay was in the upper half of the league with their 12th ranked pass defense which was averaging just 237.5 yds/g and had given up just 10 touchdowns all season. What did Carr do? He and the passing offense lit them up for 513 yards with 4 touchdowns.

It wasn’t just that Carr was making great throws either, that was only part of it. He was getting plenty of help along the way from his receivers considering that Amari Cooper had a career day with 12 catches for 173 yards and a touchdown while Michael Crabtree added on 8 catches of his own for 108 yards.

It goes beyond the star receivers too though because 10 different receivers had a reception in this game with 8 out of the 10 receivers having more than one. One of those other receivers with multiple receptions was Seth Roberts and his Houdini act in keeping his feet on his game winning 41-yard touchdown. The offense kept having to overcome the Raiders record setting penalties in this game but they did it because of an entire team effort from their passing game.

The offensive line did good enough to deserve a high grade too with only giving up two sacks, though one of those sacks was also a turnover because of a fumble. The only thing that keeps today’s performance from an A+ grade though was the numerous penalties. Even with a great passing performance like this, there were too many penalties to get them the highest mark possible.

Grade: A

Run Offense

The run offense did well enough to not be a liability in this game, mostly thanks to the efforts of Jalen Richard and one great run by Deandre Washington. They both ended the game with 5 carries with Richard having 34 yards and Washington having 32 yards, though 28 of Washington’s yards came on the one nice run he had.

As for Latavius Murray, he wasn’t awful in this game with his 11 carries for 48 yards. He had one long run in there for 19, but his best run was just a 2-yard play where he bulldozed through the tackler for an important first down.

The running game was enough to let the passing game flourish but if it hadn’t been for each of their backs breaking out 1 long run each their yards per carry would have looked pretty ugly. The 3 long runs were 28, 20, and 19 yards respectively and accounted for more than half of the total rushing yards for the team.

When you remove the 67 yards from those 3 runs, the Raiders only got 61 yards on their other 21 runs. That isn’t a very good game, though they did enough to keep the defense honest for the passing game that decimated the Buccaneers.

Grade: C-


Evey week there is a chorus of fans that hate offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave’s offense and it is getting harder and harder to justify that stance. The Raiders are 6-2 on the season right now and it is because of the performance from Musgrave’s offense. This game that offense had 626 total net yards, I’d say Bill Musgrave’s coaching is just fine.

When you have a quarterback like Derek Carr, it makes it easy on the guy calling the plays. With the way that Carr played in this one, the coaches just had to ride with him to the win. It’s good coaching when you see them realize that a player is on fire and letting them lead the way, that is exactly what Bill Musgrave did today.

It was old school Raiders football at its finest under Musgrave today with him willing to aggressively go after the Tampa secondary. His play calling was balanced enough to make the defense respect the run, but everyone knew it was going to be Carr throwing it. They still could not stop them, the only thing that did was themselves with their own penalties.

Again, the big blemish of the day comes from the penalties though. It is impossible not to take that in consideration when grading the coaching performance today. The offense has all the stats you could dream of, but part of that is because of how many times the penalties pushed them back on their drives. That is the biggest downgrade on Musgrave and the coaching staff today because they must be held accountable too when their players commit the most penalties in NFL history.

Grade: B

Overall Offensive Grade: B+

(Author's note: Lowered grade after initial posting to better account for lower grade from record penalties)

See here for the Grades on the Defense/Special Teams