Oakland Raiders fail first test of the season

Every coach has their own grading system to see how their team played and Dennis Allen is probably no different. Since we can’t find out his grades, I decided to give some out myself for the Oakland Raiders after their game Monday night against the San Diego Chargers.

Quarterbacks- Carson Palmer completed almost 70 percent of his passes and threw for nearly 300 yards. His passes were on point and he did not turn the ball over. There were some questionable passes which he got lucky on, but all in all he performed well enough for Oakland to win. B+

Running Backs- Darren McFadden was a playmaker in the passing game as a safety valve, but he could not run the ball at all. Mike Goodson had a solid game on the ground with 13 yards on two carries, but other than that no running back was able to do their job successfully. B-

Wide Receivers- Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald may have said it best when he told his wide receivers they’re on a $60,000 scholarship to catch the ball. I’m sure Allen told his guys they’re getting paid millions of dollars to do the same thing. The Oakland receivers caught 11 of Palmer’s 32 pass completions and dropped probably half a dozen more balls. They were terrible in run blocking and could not get much separation from the cornerbacks. It’s clear the Raiders missed Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford at wide receiver. F

Offensive Line- The offensive line couldn’t run block the entire game and couldn’t pass block in the second half. Palmer was sacked three times and all of them came in the second half. The tackles were unable to stop the blitzing linebackers and the defensive line gained penetration on the guards and center. D

Defensive Line- Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly did an excellent job in shutting down the running game, but could not get much pressure on Philip Rivers. Kelly took too many stupid penalties to keep drives alive, but the line played an integral part in keeping the Chargers out of the end zone in the second half despite the short field. B-

Linebackers- The linebackers made a lot of tackles, which was good, but looked shaky in pass coverage. The Chargers got 16 receptions from running backs and tight ends, meaning the linebackers were unable to stop San Diego from nickel and diming them down the field. C

Secondary- The defensive backs did a great job at not allowing the big play, but they did not break up many passes. Rivers surgically picked apart the secondary and came up with crucial third-down conversions to extend drives. C

Special Teams- I have to admit this grade is based solely on the play of Travis Goethel at long snapper. Shane Lechler punted the ball very well when he received the snap. Sebastian Janikowski hit both of his field goal attempts including a 51-yarder that would have been good from at least 57. The punt return, kickoff and kickoff return teams were also solid, but Goethel single handily ruined the night for special teams. After coming in at long snapper in place of the injured Jon Condo, Goethel snapped two punts into the ground and one of his two good snaps was followed by him missing his block and having the punt blocked. F+

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