Oakland Raiders grade out surprisingly well

By Josh Walfish
Kelley L. Cox- USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Raiders did not show up to play for periods of Thursday night’s loss to the Denver Broncos, but you wouldn’t know it from the grades. It was surprising to see how well each position actually played despite the loss.

Quarterbacks- When things went bad for Carson Palmer, it did not turn around. He had two costly turnovers and was not particularly accurate throwing the ball. He had two nice deep passes, but other than that struggled mightily. C

Running Backs- The Raiders got a boost from the return ofDarren McFaddento the backfield. McFadden averaged nearly five yards per carry and had a couple of nice rushes. B

Wide Receivers- It was an off night for Brandon Myers, but the other top Oakland targets showed up. Darrius Heyward-Bey and Denarius Moore both had good games and Rod Streater had arguably his best game of the year.  B+

Offensive Line- Palmer was sacked once and was under a lot of pressure all game. The running game wasn’t all that great, but it wasn’t terrible. B-

Defensive Line- The Raiders’ front four kept Knowshon Moreno in check for most of the game, despite the fact he ran for 100 yards. They also sacked Peyton Manning three times, although Manning helped by falling to the ground as to not take a big hit. B

Linebackers- The linebackers were terrible Thursday, failing to cover the tight ends and missing numerous tackles when the backs got behind the defensive line. Everything a linebacker needs to do, the linebackers did horribly against the Broncos. D

Secondary- Manning had 300 yards passing and picked apart the Oakland defense with ease. However, the secondary had several big play opportunities and cashed in on a few of them, including Phillip Adams’ diving interception near the goal line. C

Special Teams- It was a quiet night for Sebastian Janikowski, who only kicked an extra point all game. Shane Lechler punted well and pinned Denver inside the 20, three times in five punts. The Raiders also nearly recovered two

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