Now 5 weeks into a regular season in which the Raiders had Super Bowl aspirations, now they are hoping for just a win. The Raiders came into this game with a lot of key players injured, including quarterback Derek Carr, and they got whooped. The final score 30-17 but it was never that close.
Let’s take a look at how the groups graded out this week.
E.J. Manuel was at the helm for the Raiders and he performed about as well as you would expect him to. He threw for only 159 yards on 26 attempts and had 1 touchdown, most importantly he didn’t turn the ball over. He was sacked 3 times on the day and looked outmatched against a very good Ravens secondary.
Amari Cooper came out and again laid another egg with 1 catch for 8 yards. Cooper has been a crushing disappointment so far this season. Crabtree appeared to be the only Raiders wide receiver that came to play with 6 receptions for 82 yards and 1 TD.
Overall the passing game was pathetic and largely ineffective without Carr at the helm. This team appears too predictable and doesn’t seem to understand how to scheme for play-makers to get the ball. The players don’t seem to have any fire while out on the field and it has manifested into a 2-3 record.
The only thing saving them from a lower grade is the opponent. The Ravens have a very good secondary and asking E.J. Manuel to play from behind from the jump was asking too much. Still he was able to put some points on the board but it wasn’t enough.
Jared Cook I’m flat out calling you out this week. The team was down 7-0 and you fumbled the ball away for a touchdown. The team needed help with their starting QB out and Cook buried them further on the first possession rather than rising to the occasion.
The Raiders were generally effective when they ran the ball with either Jalen Richard or Marshawn Lynch. The problem was they were down 14 points by the time the offense got the ball back on their second possession. This pretty much limited the best thing going for Oakland due to the score.
Still Oakland was able to rack up 108 yards on 25 carries for 4.3 yards per carry and 1 TD. The Raiders run game was easily the best part of their offense on Sunday and it was limited. The run game was strong and carried the offense for much of the day but it wasn’t enough as the team could only muster 17 points.
Lynch asked Mike Tice for homework this week to improve his performance and it paid off, he looked great. He and Richard were on more than 1 occasion a block away from breaking a big run. It’s only a matter of time as to when either breaks one off, not if, when.
The Raiders offense may have been inefficient but it wasn’t because of the run game. Lynch and Richard rose to the occasion as did Jamize Olawale before leaving with a concussion. Simply put this loss won’t hang on the Raiders run game they did their part.
I’ll start with this disclosure, it’s not an excuse but Oakland played this game with 3 cornerbacks. That’s only if you count Sean Smith as a cornerback which at this point I doubt any Raider fan would. He was torched repeatedly in this game and looked like he didn’t even belong on an NFL roster.
With David Amerson and Gareon Conley out the Raiders had only Smith, T.J. Carrie and Dexter McDonald active. The result was Joe Flacco throwing only 7 incomplete passes and a QB rating 27.6 points higher than his season average. The lone bright spot for the passing defense is they did not give up a touchdown, however it wasn’t for lack of trying.
Overall the Raiders short handed secondary was not up to the task and the pass rush was dominated posting zero sacks. Mario Edwards Jr., Denico Autry, Khalil Mack and Karl Joseph were the only standouts in this group. MEJ and Autry both had a QB hit each and Mack and Joseph did what they usually do at a high level.
The only reason this grade is not an F is because they did not give up a passing TD, but make no mistake the Ravens passed at will when they needed to. The Raiders had no answer for the Ravens usually anemic passing game. The secondary is in such bad shape the talk among fans is already what CB will be taken in the 2018 draft.
While the Raiders run defense on paper would appear to have done a decent enough job given the circumstances, they didn’t. The Raiders gave up 143 yards on 39 carries to Ravens back up RB’s. The average on paper is low but the Raiders were dominated when it mattered.
With the score close and the Raiders having a chance to get the ball back the run defense failed them completely. The Ravens ran at will and drained the clock and to make matters even more embarrassing they did so with back up linemen. The Oakland defensive line simply had no answer for the run game.
Overall the performance wasn’t awful but it was pretty close. The Raiders have some real soul searching to do across the board here as they were often out of position. While they did hold the Ravens to a 3.7 per carry average giving up 2 TD’s is unacceptable.
This group deserves an F if we are being honest but the offense put them in a bad position. The Ravens essentially not having to fear the Raiders offense just wore the Raiders run defense down. The Raider run defense has to be better if this team is going to get back on track.
The Raiders special teams was for the most part solid in most phases. They did not give up a big return and they didn’t commit any egregious turnovers. However not to nitpick but Marquette King’s last punt was horrendous and helped put the final nail in the coffin.
The Raiders were in Ravens territory and decided to punt, King proceeded to punt the ball into the end zone. Instead of pinning the Ravens back he gave them life and the Ravens would run the clock out from there. King has to be better in that situation with the game still in doubt.
Overall the special teams didn’t do anything to hurt the cause and Giorgio Tavecchio again was perfect on the day going 1 for 1. Tavecchio has been great all season when called upon and has earned his spot on the 53.
The grade would have been higher but the King punt knocked it down a bit along with Richard and Patterson doing nothing in the return game. The Raiders need big plays from Richard and Patterson to help kick start the offense. No matter how you look at it the special teams unit again outplayed the other units for the 3rd straight week.
This section will be short and to the point as the Raiders were out-coached thoroughly again for the 3rd straight week. Jack Del Rio seems to have lost control of this team, the players are not motivated and look unprepared. Something happened between week 2 and 3 that needs to be discussed.
Todd Downing looks as though he wouldn’t even be someone you’d bring in to run a Pop Warner offense. Not sure what happened after he started out on fire the first 2 weeks, but now he looks completely outmatched. The offensive struggles fall directly on his shoulders as the play calling and design has been the biggest culprit.
Mannnn it ain't the O line it's the plays that's a big difference ♀️— Dominique Penn (@DominiquePenn) October 8, 2017
Ken Norton Jr. is right back in the cross hairs of Oakland fans after his defense again looked completely outmatched and unprepared. The players like him but they don’t seem to like him enough to play good football for him. His seat is getting hotter by the second and you have to imagine John Pagano taking the wheel soon.
The Raiders have been thoroughly unprepared for 3 straight weeks and that falls on the coaches. Have they lost the team? What happened between week 2 and 3? There are a lot of questions and not enough answers coming forward.