This game had it all, controversial calls, big plays, lead changes, and overtime. Unlike the previous three games the Raiders did not lead at halftime. The Raiders trailed 28-14 midway through the third quarter and needed some Derek Carr heroics to pull this one off.
Grading the teams performance is a challenge in a game like this because although the result was a Raiders win, there are many areas where the Raiders need improvement.
Let’s take at the week four Raiders report card.
Aerial Attack: A-
It’s difficult to be too hard on Derek Carr after this one. Yes, you can question the decision making on both of his interceptions but he showed tremendous heart and a desire to win when his team needed it.
Carr finished the game 35 of 58 with 437 yards and four touchdowns. He showed toughness in the overtime period when he took a big hit, was slow to get up but stayed in the game and led the Raiders offense down the field to set up the game winning field goal.
Carr delivered passes to eight different receivers. Amari Cooper (8-128-1) led the way along with Jared Cook (8-110-2).
Fast ball by Derek Carr. Raiders offense scored 21 points off turnovers. pic.twitter.com/VnKZX2aWV5— Evan Groat (@Egroat5) October 1, 2018
Ground Game: A
Marshawn Lynch takes full responsibility for this grade. The offensive line was not great but Lynch did his part grinding out 130 yards on 20 carries.
Lynch’s 130 yards on the ground was his most since 2014. Lynch longest run of the day was a 52 yard gain.
Lincoln Kennedy called this “99 Bunch Crunch” a staple in the Gruden playbook from his first stint with the team. Nice block by Jordy. pic.twitter.com/PSwS1lQPKT— Evan Groat (@Egroat5) October 1, 2018
He also caught three balls for 27 yards.
Offensive Line: B+
It was a slow start for the offensive line this week but they showed some toughness and grit this week against a good Browns defense.
The group paved the way for Marshawn Lynch to gain 130 yards on the ground. Going into the game a key match up was Kolton Miller versus Miles Garrett. Although, Garrett was disruptive at times was not a game wrecker.
Extra points were added to the grade for the Raiders ability to deal with an injury to Donald Penn. Donald Penn did not finish the game, due to a lower leg injury. Rookie, Brandon Parker was forced into action and played well.
Browns defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams is known for his exotic blitz packages, the Raiders offensive line held up well in pass protection.
Defensive Line: D
As long as the defensive line continues to lack a pass rush and get gashed for big plays on the ground they will earn low grades.
Maurice Hurst kept this group from getting an F. Hurst came up with a huge sack, fumble late in the third quarter. The play started the comeback for the Raiders. Three plays later, the Raiders closed the gap to 28-21.
This was the turning point of the game. Huge play by Mo Hurst. pic.twitter.com/iXFmIMkLaG— Evan Groat (@Egroat5) October 1, 2018
The Browns gained 208 yards on 31 carries, while rushing for three touchdowns.
Marquel Lee led the way for the linebackers, playing his best game as a Raider. Lee did a little bit of everything today showing up in the run (10 tackles) and pass (2 pass deflections).
Marquel Lee with a great defensive play. This play could have went for a big gain if he doesn’t get his fingers on it. pic.twitter.com/KA7uT3pNGe— Evan Groat (@Egroat5) October 1, 2018
The reason for the C+ is too many missed tackles. Missed tackles by Whitehead and Lee led to both of Nick Chubb’s touchdowns.
The secondary forced two turnovers today, Gareon Conley intercepted the first pass of his career and took it to the house.
Great ball skills by Conley. First career INT goes for a pick six. pic.twitter.com/yQKyOcZNqA— Evan Groat (@Egroat5) October 1, 2018
The secondary get’s graded on a bit of a curve because the pass rush is so bad they can’t be expected to cover for as long as they are asked to. Baker Mayfield had all day to scan the field and find an open receiver.
The Raiders defense and secondary in particular benefited from several Browns drops.
Special Teams: B+
The special teams unit played a critical role in the win for the Raiders. Keep in mind the kicker, punter, and long snapper were all rookies.
Newly signed kicker, Matt McCrane made 3 of 5 attempts. His first miss isn’t completely his fault. The kick took place on the infield dirt and the ball slipped on the dirt while be placed by Johnny Townsend.
McCrane made the one that mattered, a 29 yard, game winner in overtime.
The kick cover teams were on point, continuously limiting the Browns returns to no gains and putting the Browns offense is poor starting position.
Another example of special teams coming up big. Starting drive from the 12. pic.twitter.com/AYyQTayRqF— Evan Groat (@Egroat5) October 1, 2018
Dwayne Harris was excellent in covering kicks and returning kicks. His longest return of the day was a 49 yard punt return.
49 yard punt return by Dwayne Harris. pic.twitter.com/dhIhegKSlc— Evan Groat (@Egroat5) October 1, 2018
Overall Grade: B
It wasn’t always pretty but the Raiders did just enough to get a much needed win.
Do you think a B grade is fair for Raiders performance vs the Browns?
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