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Raiders week 17 report card vs Chiefs: Passing game flunks in finale

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Oakland Raiders v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

It was a fitting end to a tumultuous 2018 season for the Raiders. There were concerns how the team would respond coming off an emotional final home game in the coliseum, Raiders fans got the answer very early in the game.

The Raiders played uninspired football from the first whistle to the last. Outside of a goal line stand by the defense and a great hustle play by Kolton Miller to save a touchdown off a Derek Carr interception, the Raiders put up very little fight.

Speaking of interceptions, Derek Carr’s streak of interception-less football ended at 332 attempts when Daniel Sorensen picked one off and took it to the house.

After the game, Jon Gruden was asked to sum up his first season back. “I love it man, that’s all I can say. You know, I love it. It’s a great responsibility, sure I have a lot of critics out there but I’m really excited to continue to stick my shovel in the ground and keep digging.”

Hopefully he finds what he is digging for sooner, rather than later.

Let’s take a look at the Raiders week 17 report card.

Aerial Attack: F

Derek Carr’s struggles at Arrowhead Stadium continued as his career record in Kansas City falls to 0-5.

Although he did complete 72.7 percent of his passes he only generated 183 yards. Many of the completions were quick, short passes that never challenged the defense. As mentioned earlier, Carr also saw his streak of games without an interception come to an end, he threw two on the day and also lost a fumble when Justin Houston stripped the ball from his hand.

Ball security and pocket awareness has been a major issue of concern with Derek Carr all season. This is something he will need to correct during the offseason.

On a personal level Carr achieved his first 4,000 (4,049) yard season and broke Peyton Manning’s record for most completions (1,759) by a quarterback in his first five seasons.

Jordy Nelson had another quietly, productive day catching nine of 12 targets for 78 yards. Nelson has developed into a very reliable target for Carr down the final stretch of the season. All signs point towards him returning to the Raiders in 2019.

Major points were deducted from the passing game due to the “miscommunication” play between Jared Cook and Derek Carr which led to Sorensen’s pick six.

Ground Game: B

Doug Martin gained 100 yards on the ground for the second consecutive week. The 100 yard game put Martin at 723 for the season on only 172 attempts (4.2 ypc)

The muscle hamster showed his strength throughout the game running hard and over Chiefs tacklers. Points were taken for a lost fumble.

Martin signed a one year deal with the Raiders, he has demonstrated he still has some juice left. Whether or not he re-signs with the Raiders is to be determined but he should have plenty of teams interested in his services.

Offensive Line: C

Another game and another three sacks surrendered by the offensive line. Kolton Miller and Brandon Parker each had their hands full dealing with Justin Houston and Dee Ford. And both were victimized by the pass rushers.

Miller getting beat by Houston proved to be very costly when Houston swatted the ball from Derek Carr’s hand.

Denzelle Good filled in for the injured Gabe Jackson at Guard and did so very nicely. Good has potentially earned himself a position on the 2019 roster.

Defensive Line: D

The run defense was decent but once again the pass rush was non-existent. Patrick Mahomes was kept clean all game. Arden Key was close to a sack, again, but couldn’t finish the play.

The defense did have a goal line stand which was nice to see.

Linebackers: C-

The group has shown improvements in recent week’s but against the Chiefs did nothing to write home about.

Tahir Whitehead led the team in tackles (9) once again, but also dropped two would be interceptions. In a game when the Raiders turned the ball over four times themselves, getting two back would have been helpful.

Secondary: D

The secondary was torched for several big plays including a 67 yard touchdown by Tyreek Hill and an 89 yard touchdown by Demarcus Robinson. Rashaan Melvin and rookie Nick Nelson were in coverage on the plays.

Rashaan Melvin is not expected back with the Raiders next season.

Patrick Mahomes finished the game with 281 yards on 14 completions (11.7 ypc).

Gareon Conley intercepted his third pass of the season.

Special Teams: B

Daniel Carlson continued to impress and make a case for himself to be the kicker in 2019. Carlson made his only attempt of the game from 50 yards.

Johnny Townsend’s rough rookie season comes to an end on a positive note. Townsend was able to have a punt downed inside the five and had a second punt fair caught at the seven. On the day he averaged 45.5 yards per punt, with a long of 56 yards.

Overall Grade: D+