Oakland Raiders won't be pleased with Week 4 grades

By Josh Walfish

The Oakland Raiders went to Denver with momentum and left with a crushing loss to the Denver Broncos. In a crucial division game like Sunday’s contest, at least showing up was expected, but nobody played well in Denver. It’s time for some grades and Oakland is probably afraid of what letter appears most often.

Quarterbacks- No interceptions is a plus, but Carson Palmer was by no means good on Sunday. Only 202 yards in the air and completing a shade over 50 percent of his passes is not acceptable. He made a couple of nice throws, but overall not his best game. C

Running Backs- Mike Goodson had a nice game with 22 yards on his three carries, but boy was Darren McFadden out of it. Averaging 2.6 yards per carry is never a good thing  and the unit was no help in the passing game. C-

Wide Receivers- It is clear losing Darrius Heyward-Bey had a tremendous impact on this unit. Denarius Moore played alright and some of the other receivers made nice plays, but it just wasn’t enough. B-

Offensive Line- There are two goals for an offensive line- protect the quarterback and create holes for the running back. Oakland did neither Sunday as Palmer was sacked three times and the running backs had nowhere to run up the middle. D-

Defensive Line- The unit did a poor job stopping the run and putting pressure on Peyton Manning. Those are two important qualities of a defensive line. The Raiders will improve when Andre Carter is actually playing, but until then this could be an issue. D

Linebackers- This was by far the best unit on the Oakland defense. Phillip Wheeler continues to play well and Rolando McClain put in another great effort in the middle. Still this is the second line of defense against the run, so they also deserve some of the blame. B-

Secondary- There is no end to the Raiders’ woes in the defensive backfield. A week after getting torched for more than 370 yards, the unit slightly improved to give up only 338 yards through the air. Still, this unit was atrocious and that might be putting it lightly. F-

Special Teams- Both specialists did their job to perfection and although it doesn’t show on the scoreboard it is important. Shane Lechler averaged nearly 50 yards a punt and Sebastian Janikowski nailed both of his field goals. The only knock is that Janikowski’s were relative chip shots and Lechler only put one punt inside the 20. B+

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