Despite Loss, Oakland Raiders Grade Better in Week 6

By Josh Walfish

The Oakland Raiders walked into the Georgia Dome as nine-point underdogs and left it with a three-point loss to the Atlanta Falcons. It was a tough loss for a team in desperate need of a win, but on the bright side, we all saw the potential the Raiders seemed to have at the beginning of the season.

Quarterbacks- It was an interesting day for Carson Palmer, who threw for more than 350 yards, but turned the ball over twice. No turnover was more crucial than his pick-six to Asante Samuel, which gave Atlanta a 20-13 lead. He completed most of his passes and was pretty accurate, but he couldn’t deliver when his team needed him to. B-

Running Backs- This is a difficult game to grade the running backs on because they had an impact, but nothing seismic. Darren McFadden had 70 yards, but averaged 2.6 yards per carry. Mike Goodson had 59 yards, but 43 of those came on one rush. Either way, the Raiders ran for 149 yards. B-

Wide Receivers- Sunday was a good day for the receivers, who gave Palmer a lot of options in the passing game. Denarius Moore had a big day and Derek Hagan also played at a high level. Darrius Heyward-Bey was basically non-existent, but seemed to be a good distraction for the Falcons’ defense. B

Offensive Line- This was a shaky day for the front five, who struggled to contain the Atlanta pass rush. John Abraham seemed to be living on top of Palmer with three sacks. The line did open up some nice holes, but the sacks are inexcusable. D

Defensive Line- Atlanta could not get a running game going and Matt Ryan was under some heat. All in all a good day for the Raiders’ front four. Another nice day for Matt Shuaghnessy adds to the fun for the defensive line. B+

Linebackers- Is there a team out there that can limit Phillip Wheeler? He once again led the team in tackles and the linebackers did a good job in run support to limit the Falcons to 45 yards on the ground. A-

Secondary- Oakland must have switched out their secondary because somehow this unit kept the seventh-best passing attack to 249 yards. They picked off Ryan three times and broke up four other passes. A remarkable effort from this group to say the least. A

Special Teams- Another consistent day for the Raiders’ specialists on Sunday. Sebastian Janikowski hit a 52 yarder and Shane Lechler boomed his five punts for an average of 48.2 yards. He did have three touchbacks he would like to have back, though. B+

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