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Raiders week eight report card vs Colts

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NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Oakland Raiders Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

After a rocky bye week full of negative reports the Raiders finally got back to work as they welcomed the Indianapolis Colts to town.

Considering the Raiders traded away one of their top offensive weapons and had to place their most consistent offensive player on the injured reserve they didn’t look like a team that was 1-5 and playing for nothing but pride. At least that was the case through three quarters.

The Colts outscored the Raiders 21-0 in the fourth quarter. There were two plays in the fourth quarter that proved to be extremely costly. The first was a terrible punt by Johnny Townsend that gave the Colts a short field to work with. And second was a Doug Martin fumble that crushed any hopes the Raiders had at tying up the game.

Let’s take a look at the Raiders week eight report card.

Aerial Attack: A

After hearing all week that his teammates were allegedly losing confidence in him and that he could be next on the trade block, Derek Carr played an outstanding game.

By the numbers Carr was excellent, finishing an efficient 21-28, 244 yards, and three touchdowns. Carr even scored his first career rushing touchdown. Carr threw touchdowns to Jared Cook, Brandon LaFell, and Seth Roberts.

The performance by Carr reminded us of what he is capable of doing when he has time and protection to make throws.

Jalen Richard led the Raiders with eight receptions for 50 yards.

Ground Game: B

Doug Martin stepped in for the injured Marshawn Lynch and looked very good doing so. Martin looked explosive, gaining 72 yards on 13 carries. His longest run was a 29 yard jaunt.

Unfortunately for Martin many of the good things that he did will be overlooked by the one huge mistake that me made. Trailing 35-28 with 5:17 left in the fourth, on the Raiders first play after the Colts took lead, Doug Martin fumbled the ball ending any hope the Raiders had of tying the game.

The Colts would tack on another score and the game would end with a final of 42-28.

Offensive Line: A

After their worst game of the season the offensive line bounced back with a strong performance. Kolton Miller said earlier in the week that he was feeling better, and it showed.

Kelechi Osemele was close to a return today but after testing out his sore knee in pregame he was not active for the game. Jon Feliciano started for the second time in place of Osemele.

The line allowed zero sacks and only one quarterback hit. If things are to stabilize on offense, it all starts upfront with the O-line.

Defensive Line: F

This is beginning to get a bit redundant but the defensive line continues to get gashed in the run game and is a non-factor in creating a pass rush. This game may have been the worst performance of the year for the unit as a whole.

Marlon Mack picked up a game high 132 yards on 25 carries. Teammate Nyheim Hines added 78 yards on 11 carries. As a team the Colts totaled 222 yards for a 5.6 yard per carry average.

The Raiders were not able to generate pressure on Andrew Luck and only registered one quarterback hit.

Linebackers: D

It’s hard to recall the last time the Raiders had a linebacker or safety for that matter that could cover a tight end.

Andrew Luck had a field day throwing to his tight ends, Jack Doyle, Eric Ebron, and Mo Alie-Cox combined for 10 grabs with 133 yards and three touchdowns. Colts running backs also caught four passes. The linebackers were not responsible for giving up all that production but they surrendered their fair share.

Marquel Lee and Tahir Whitehead are serviceable run defenders at best but are huge liabilities in the pass game. After the game Jon Gruden said, “I will continue to play our best players.” With a 1-6 record it would be nice to see Jason Cabinda and Nick Morrow see more action.

Secondary: B

If it weren’t for an amazing one handed touchdown catch by Colts tight end, Mo Alie-Cox, it would have otherwise been a pretty solid game by the cornerbacks. On the play, Gareon Conley was in coverage and pretty decent coverage at that but Cox made a highlight reel catch.

Besides the tight ends, Colts wide receivers were held to 86 yards on six catches.

The safeties really brought down the overall grade for the secondary. Karl Joseph who saw extensive snaps this week is just too small to be matched up against bigger tight ends. The struggles in coverage have been an issue for two years now for Joseph.

Special Teams: D

Newly signed kicker, Daniel Carlson was made all four of his extra point opportunities. He did not have any field goal opportunities.

The main reason for the low grade for the special teams is because of one horrible Johnny Townsend punt. As previously mentioned, with the game tied 28-28 and 9:40 remaining, Johnny Townsend had an opportunity to make a big play by pinning the Colts back deep in their own territory.

Instead, he botched the punt. The punt went only 25 yards and the Colts would take over on their own 43 yard line.

Field position has been an issue for the Raiders all year long, both their starting position as well as the oppositions starting position. Townsend has been a major reason for the struggle. Through seven games he has not shown the ability to be an effective NFL punter.

Overall Grade: B-