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Raiders week four report card: Ground game leads the way

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Oakland Raiders v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images

The Raiders got their record back to .500 today with a 31-24 road win against the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts were with out a few key starters including three on defense but a win is a win in the NFL.

Similar to the Denver and Kansas City games the offense got off to a quick start getting out to a 14-0 lead. The offense got some help from the defense late with a 30 yard pick six by Erik Harris to solidify the win.

Now let’s take a look at the Raiders week four report card.

Aerial Attack: C+

It wasn’t a flashy game through the air but Derek Carr and his receivers put together a solid game. Carr finished the game 21 of 31 for 189 yards and two touchdowns.

After catching some criticism last week for spotty play Derek Carr silenced his critics for at least a week. He seemed more patient in his reads but still seemed content to keep everything underneath, his longest completion was only 20 yards. His numbers won’t blow you away but he managed the game and didn’t throw any interceptions, he did have an exchange with running back Josh Jacobs that resulted in a fumble.

Rookie tight end Foster Moreau caught his first NFL touchdown. It was a beautiful 18 yard throw and catch from Carr to Moreau. Darren Waller led the team once again with seven catches for 53 yards.

Tyrell Williams scored another touchdown, his third on the season, but he also had some drops.

Ground Game: A

Newly acquired Trevor Davis made his presence felt in his first game with the Raiders. On the first play of the second possession Davis took an end around 60 yards to the house on his first touch as a Raiders.

Davis would add a second carry later in the game for a 14 yard gain. Josh Jacobs looked like his old self after a so so game last game. Jacobs was heavily involved picking up hard earned yards with his physical style of running. Jacobs finished the day with 17 carries for 79 yards. Jacobs now has 307 yards rushing for the season.

Overall the Raiders backs carried 32 times for 188 yards, good for a 5.9 yard per carry average.

Offensive Line: B+

Anytime you can pave the way for 188 yards on the ground you will earn a good grade. Throw in the fact that Carr was only sacked once and with the exception of that play was not under much pressure.

Another factor to consider is that starting right guard, Jordan Devey left the game with a torn pectoral and starting right tackle, Trent Brown missed some time with what looked like a hand injury.

Despite the revolving door at both guard positions the offensive line continues to do a solid job on the year.

Defensive Line: B+

Entering the game, Marlon Mack was third in the NFL in rushing, the Raiders defense bottled him up for 39 yards on 11 carries. Even with a dominant offensive line the Colts only managed 81 yards for the game.

Although the defensive line struggled to generate a pass rush once again they did do some good things during the game. Rookie Maxx Crosby had his best game of his young career, forcing a fumble and batting down two Brissett passes.

Josh Mauro and PJ Hall each added a tackle for loss.

Linebackers: B-

Starting middle linebacker, Vontaze Burfict was ejected in the first quarter of the game after a vicious helmet to helmet hit. Burfict just can’t control himself with plays like this. This is the stuff you have to live with when you sign a player with Burfict’s aggressive nature.

No harm no foul, even without Burfict the linebackers did there job. Tahir Whitehead led the defense in tackles with eight and Nicholas Morrow made some plays including seven tackles, one tackle for loss, and a pass deflection.

Secondary: C

It wasn’t always pretty, especially considering the Colts were without TY Hilton. The secondary did allow 265 yards passing and three touchdowns but that’s not too shabby considering Brissett threw it 46 times.

Playing from behind the entire game the Colts were forced to go to the air early and often. Lamarcus Joyner was all over the place, nearly intercepting passes, making seven tackles (two for loss), and breaking up passes.

Karl Joseph recovered a fumble that was forced by Maxx Crosby and Erik Harris made the play of the game, a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown.

Special Teams: B

Another strong day from AJ Cole punting the ball, three times downing the ball inside the 20. On the day Cole averaged 50.6 yards a punt.

The return game wasn’t much of a factor in the game, Trevor Davis returned two punts for four yards and two kickoffs for 33 yards.

Daniel Carlson had a perfect day making his only field goal attempt, a 26 yarder, and four extra points.

Coverage teams allowed nothing of note.

Overall Grade: B+