If you were to look at the week three boxscore you would think the Raiders completely dominated the Dolphins. They racked up 434 total yards of offense, picked up 25 first downs, possessed the ball for just over 38 minutes, and ran 74 plays on offense to the Dolphins 39.
Unfortunately, for the Raiders the scoreboard told the only story that matters. Once again the Raiders had a complete fourth quarter meltdown after a strong first half. The Raiders were outscored 14-3 in the fourth. On the season they have been outscored by opponents 37-3.
The Raiders are now 0-3. They will head back home to host the Cleveland Browns in week four.
Let’s take a look at the Raiders report card for week three.
Aerial Attack: C+
A week after setting an NFL record for completion percentage, Derek Carr once again finds himself squarely in the cross hairs of an unhappy fan base. For the most part, Carr played very well. He completed 27 of 39 passes for 345 yards and one touchdown.
Trailing 21-17, late in the fourth quarter, on the Dolphins 13 yard line, Carr threw his second interception of the game ending any hopes the Raiders had for a win. I took major points off the grade for the crucial turnover.
Carr said he saw man coverage and wanted to take a shot. I feel Carr is pressing, trying to do much. Plays like this is evidence. pic.twitter.com/5dEegWY6pq— Evan Groat (@Egroat5) September 24, 2018
After two weeks of little to no production, Derek Carr and Jordy Nelson were able to get on the same page. Nelson had himself a huge game catching six passes for 173 yards and a touchdown.
Outside of Nelson’s 173 yards, the rest of the Raiders receivers and backs were able to manage only 21 receptions for 172 yards. Amari Cooper was shut down with two catches for 17 yards.
Xavien Howard said he would sharpen Cooper. Deserves credit for keeping Cooper in check. pic.twitter.com/e9RtpdcZNU— Evan Groat (@Egroat5) September 24, 2018
Ground Game: B-
The Raiders have yet to establish a consistent run game in any of their first three games. Part of the blame goes on the offensive line not getting enough push.
You certainly can’t fault Marshawn Lynch, he is running as angry as ever but with little production. Yards were hard to come by for Lynch, gaining only 64 yards on 19 carries.
Doug Martin did well with his limited touches, gaining 43 yards with a 4.8 yards per carry average.
Keith Smith was stuffed for no gain on his lone carry of the game. On fourth and one, on the Dolphins one yard line, Jon Gruden foolishly called a fullback dive to Smith that was met for no gain.
Offensive line: C+
With the amount of money invested in the offensive line there is no excuse for the lack of production in the run game.
109 yards on 32 carries is not going to cut it. The offenses is relying too much on the arm of Derek Carr and the offensive line needs to step up and allow the run game to be the focal point.
A great example of the lack of push the line gets was on the fourth and goal in the first quarter when fullback Keith Smith was stuffed at the one yard line.
Offensive line not getting any push. Questionable call by Gruden to hand the ball to Smith. pic.twitter.com/HmEmkdyHMC— Evan Groat (@Egroat5) September 24, 2018
Kolton Miller had a crushing false start penalty in the second the second quarter. With the ball on the Dolphins two yard line, the penalty prevented the Raiders from scoring a touchdown and instead had to settle for a field goal.
Kolton Miller false start on 3rd and 2. Raiders would not convert on 3rd and goal. Settled for a FG. pic.twitter.com/leuFQuaEob— Evan Groat (@Egroat5) September 24, 2018
Derek Carr also took some big hits throughout the game, getting sacked three times. Donald Penn was lost for the game with a concussion in the first quarter.
Defensive line: B-
I think it’s fair to say that a B- for a group that generated zero pass rush is being very generous, even if they held the Dolphins run game to 41 yards.
The lack of pass rush continues to be a major area of concern for the Raiders. They may need to look to add a free agent sooner rather than later to address the weakness.
Clinton McDonald collected the groups only sack.
Ryan Tannehill attacked the linebackers and the middle of the field in the passing game. Tannehill was able to dink and dunk the ball down the field with little resistance.
Raiders in zone coverage. Tannehill works the middle of field. pic.twitter.com/vEgo3ceGB4— Evan Groat (@Egroat5) September 24, 2018
The big play in the game was on a Dolphins trick play. A reverse pass that ended in a 52-yard Jakeem Grant touchdown. Tahir Whitehead fell for the reverse which allowed Grant to run down the sideline uncovered.
Tahir Whitehead bites hard on the reverse allowing Grant down field. Gilchrist misses tackle. pic.twitter.com/78IbdBbbVt— Evan Groat (@Egroat5) September 24, 2018
The script continues to be the same for the secondary. Early in the game they show flashes of play making ability, but late in the game when stops are needy they can’t get it done.
Marcus Gilchrist missed a tackle on Jakeem Grant’s 52-yard touchdown reception which could have kept the Dolphins from scoring a touchdown.
The Raiders allowed 332 yards passing and three touchdowns on 18 completions.
Special Teams: D
It was a rough day at the office for the special teams. Lousy punts, penalties, and lack of production in the return game will earn you a D.
There were two plays that stand out to me as being particularly bad. The first one, a punt return that Dwayne Harris did not field, but teammate Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie thought would be wise to pick up the ball inside his own 10. To make matters worse, Harris was called for an illegal block after a terrible return.
Special teams was not good today. DRC trying to make something out of nothing. Penalty added to an already bad play. pic.twitter.com/udfSZsIjv5— Evan Groat (@Egroat5) September 24, 2018
The second was a Johnny Townsend punt. Punting from his own 45-yard line, Townsend badly needed to pin the Dolphins back deep. He was unable to do so and the result was a 25-yard punt. The Dolphins began their drive on the 30-yard line.
Raiders needed a big punt from Townsend and didn’t get it. 25 yards. Miami takes over at the 30 yard line. pic.twitter.com/eVn41gFSGX— Evan Groat (@Egroat5) September 24, 2018
Overall Grade: C
Raider Nation what overall grade do you believe the Raiders earned?
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