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Raiders week 9 report card: Balanced attack on offense is key to victory

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Detroit Lions v Oakland Raiders Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Aerial Attack: A-

The offense was clicking on all cylinders, putting up 31 points and 450 yards of total offense. Derek Carr and his receivers accounted for 289 of those yards through the air.

Nine different receivers caught passes, led by Hunter Renfrow’s six catches for 54 yards and game-winning touchdown. Jalen Richard had the games next two biggest catches, both coming on the go-ahead scoring drive. The first was a 31-yard gain on a wheel route, while the second came a 23-yarder on a crossing route underneath.

It was Carr’s best game of the year. He was locked in on the game-winning drive, completing three of four passes for 64 yards and the eventual dagger. Carr is starting to heat up at the right time. In the last three games, he has thrown seven touchdowns versus one interception while airing it out for 867 yards.

Ground Game: A+

Speaking of heating up, Josh Jacobs rushed for 120 yards on 28 carries to go along with two touchdowns. It was the third time over the past four games that Jacobs has gone over 120.

Jacobs is beginning to run away (literally) with the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. He now has 740 yards (4.9 yards per carry) and six touchdowns on the year.

The Raiders rushed 36 times for 171 yards (4.8 yards per carry).

Offensive Line: A

Despite not having starting center Rodney Hudson and losing Trent Brown early in the game, the offensive line was still dominant. Andre James and David Sharpe once again filled in nicely.

James did have some issues with low snaps when Carr was in shotgun, but besides that he played well. The line gave up only one sack. With the exception of said sack, Carr had time to make all the throws.

The run blocking was excellent once again, and although he is not included as an offensive lineman, Alec Ingold gets some credit here. On Jacobs’ second touchdown of the game, focus in on Ingold and you will see him take the legs out of the defensive of end, springing Jacobs free for the score.

Defensive Line: C+

The run defense did it’s job, allowing only 90 yards on the ground, but the pass rush was merely average. They did disrupt Stafford at times, forcing him to get rid of the ball quicker than he would have liked, but overall it continues to be a problem

Arden Key and P.J. Hall each had a sack, although Hall’s came after Stafford tripped and fell. Key has sacks in back-to-back games. On the bright side, the two sacks on Sunday gave the defense 15 total in 2019, two more than they had all of 2018.

Linebackers: B-

The big issue with Tahir Whitehead and Nicholas Morrow has been in coverage. Whitehead was the victim this week, giving up a touchdown reception to Lions back J.D. McKissic. This is now the third consecutive week that the Raiders linebackers have been scored on in coverage.

Will Compton, who was signed off the couch this week, stepped right in and played 12 snaps.

One area where you have to praise the group is toughness. On Sunday, Whitehead played in 100 percent of the snaps while Morrow played in 97 percent. What they lack in talent, they surely make up for with heart.

Secondary: D

It’s hard to get much higher than a ‘D’ when you are torched for 406 yards and three touchdowns. If it was not for Daryl Worley’s clutch interception before half and Karl Joseph’s game-saving play on fourth-and-goal, the grade would have been a big fat ‘F.’

It seems like an every week occurrence now that this secondary is burned for a big play. This week, it came from Kenny Golladay, who got open for a 59-yard touchdown. The common trend with the explosive plays seems to be miscommunication — corners thinking they have help over top that is not there. This communication breakdown needs to be figured out fast.

Special Teams: B-

Daniel Carlson missed a 45-yard field goal, which almost came back to burn the Raiders. The field goal attempt was set up by a successful fake punt on fourth-and-3. He made his only other attempt and was a perfect 4-for-4 on extra points.

The return games were not a major factor in the contest. Trevor Davis, who took over return duties in Dwayne Harris’s absence, had a long of 31 yards.

Overall Grade: B+