Monday Morning Quarterback Grades the Oakland Raiders

By Josh Walfish
Steve Mitchell US PRESSWIRE

The game may have ended 24 hours ago, but the grades are finally coming out. The Oakland Raiders lost 35-13 to the Miami Dolphins and their performance was quite ugly. Most of the units got worse grades this week after embarrassing themselves on the road against a rookie quarterback and depleted line-up.

Quarterbacks- Carson Palmer was not close to being as accurate or as poised as he was in Week 1. He threw the ball 48 times and completed 24 passes for 373 yards. Palmer was under a lot of pressure all day, but he found a way to not turn the ball over until very late in the game. Oakland’s lone touchdown was a beautiful screen pass orchestrated by Palmer, but his grade still goes down this week. B-

Running Backs- Darren McFadden was horrible as both a running back and a receiver. He ran the ball 11 times for 22 yards and caught two passes for 19 yards. He was targeted seven times in the passing game, but dropped several passes and he was not as crisp in pass blocking. Mike Goodson caught the 64-yard touchdown pass and was good in the passing game as a safety option, but his lone carry of the game lost Oakland six yards. When you rush for 23 yards on 14 carries, you can’t get a good grade. D

Wide Receivers-  Only two units got better grades this week than last week because there was nowhere to go but up. The receivers looked better with the addition of Denarius Moore into the lineup. The receiving corps did not drop many passes, but there was still chemistry issues with Palmer that were evident. This group is still not perfect and Darrius Heyward-Bey must still find his “A” game, but they were at least better in Week 2. C

Offensive Line-  Palmer may not have been sacked, but the offensive line had more holes than Swiss cheese. They could not open holes in the running game and Palmer was under constant pressure when he dropped back to pass. The injury to Khalif Barnes took a toll on the line, but it is still no excuse for their poor play Sunday. F

Defensive Line- Giving up 263 yards rushing is never a good thing and the Raiders’ defensive line should have failed. However, there was some good pressure when Miami was passing. Matt Shaugnessy had a good game in the pass rush department with an 11-yard sack and two tackles-for-loss. Still, the rest of the defensive line was sub-par at best. C-

Linebackers-  Sometimes the linebackers need to step up to help the defensive line in the running game and Oakland’s group did not do that. Phillip Wheeler had seven sacks to lead the team, but the other linebackers had five tackles combined. Like the defensive line, only one person came out to play Sunday and it showed in the game. D

Secondary- This group wasn’t spectacular, but they weren’t horrible. The secondary was good in the running game with Tyvon Branch leading the way with seven tackles, Joselio Hanson adding six stops and Michael Huff making four tackles. The coverage was pretty good and limited Miami to 200 yards passing. Still, they did not poach on a rookie quarterback and force him to make mistakes, so their grade isn’t as high as it could be. C+

Special Teams- This unit was spectacular by comparison to the rest of the team. Sebastian Janikowski hit both of his field goals and his sole extra point. The snaps were on point and the return game was pretty good. Shane Lechler had to punt nine times and the only knock on this group is that he averaged about 47 yards per punt, which is below his career average. A-

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