Raiders

Raiders report card: Grades on offense, defense in 24-21 win over Bears

Raiders report card: Grades on offense, defense in 24-21 win over Bears

LONDON – The Raiders are 3-2 despite a brutal start to a schedule loaded with legitimate playoff contenders. Yeah, you read that right.

The Silver and Black have won two straight games away from home, a big win over Indianapolis last week followed up with a 24-21 victory over Khalil Mack and the Chicago Bears.

The Raiders were awesome in the first half and weathered a disastrous third quarter with enough heart and drive to pull out a fourth-quarter comeback.

This team is mentally tough and plays hard together, often above their cumulative talent level.

They certainly did so on Sunday at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, quieting Khalil Mack and an intimidating Bears defense.

There should be several high marks on this week’s report card, coming after an impressive, impressive win.

Rushing offense

The Bears entered Sunday as the third-ranked rushing defense. That didn’t change the Raiders' approach one bit. They wanted to run the football and did so effectively all night long. Kudos go to the offensive line, fullback Alec Ingold and running back Josh Jacobs, who fought through an elbow injury to produce a career day. Jacobs had 123 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries, including the game-deciding score late in the fourth quarter.

DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard were also impactful running the ball, as the Raiders are establishing themselves as a quality running team. They had more runs than passes in this day thanks to steady production that kept the chains moving.

Grade: A-plus

Passing offense

The Raiders needed a mistake-free day from Derek Carr, one loaded with accurate short and intermediate passes. He provided exactly that, giving skill players room to run and make plays after the catch. He did that despite being without Tyrell Williams and J.J. Nelson.

The quarterback was the leader the Raiders needed, but tackles Kolton Miller and Trent Brown were the real stars of the day. They held Khalil Mack and Leonard Floyd sackless in this one, leaving Carr with plenty of time to throw. Trevor Davis’ fumble near the goal line was a real negative. Those things can’t happen in tight games, even though the ball got hit with a perfect punch.

Grade: B

Rushing defense

David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen are a solid rushing tandem. They weren’t able to do much against a Raiders run defense that has been solid, save a Week 3 gashing from Dalvin Cook. The Bears averaged just 2.5 yards per carry in this game, putting a ton on backup quarterback Chase Daniel. Let’s not forget the Raiders did all that without Vontaze Burfict, who was suspended Monday for an illegal hit the previous week.

Linebacker Nicholas Morrow was solid playing next to Tahir Whitehead. Corey Liuget and P.J Hall were tough inside, complimenting Johnathan Hankins. The Bears' run game was a non-factor in this one, an underrated aspect of the game that played a huge role in a huge win.

Grade: A

Passing defense

Gareon Conley iced this game with an interception, and Morrow had one early that lead to an easy touchdown. That was huge, as was the defensive line’s ability to rattle Chase Daniel. The Bears backup quarterback made some mistakes that were key to the Raiders' victory.

Maxx Crosby and Benson Mayowa had sacks. Maurice Hurst had two in an energizing effort for an improving defensive line operating without rookie Clelin Ferrell. The group gave up some big plays to Allen Robinson during the Bears' third-quarter push, but made enough plays to let the offense surge from behind.

Grade: B-plus

Special teams

The Raiders gave up a huge punt return to Tarik Cohen that put the Bears back in the game, and A.J. Cole was just okay punting the ball. A fake punt worked out well, despite Erik Harris losing control of the ball after getting the first down. That play was vital to the Raiders' victory, but giving up that punt return to Cohen simply is unacceptable. Bears returner Cordarrelle Patterson had a 39-yard kickoff return, too.

Giving up those chunks will often get you beat.

Grade:C-minus

Overall

Coach Jon Gruden came up with a great game plan to get his offense going right from the start. That 17-point halftime lead was lost, yet important in the grand scheme. The Raiders clearly made the right choice to stay in London all week, and showed no ill effects of playing so far from home.

[RELATED: Brown or Brown? Carr praises Trent with AB gone]

The team weathered that third-quarter storm and emerged victorious. Last year’s team would’ve folded. This one has now won back-to-back games away from home and enter the bye week at 3-2. That's an excellent mark considering how hard their schedule has been.

Grade: A-plus-plus-plus

Raiders' Keelan Doss enjoying 'unorthodox' NFL journey amid inactive streak

Raiders' Keelan Doss enjoying 'unorthodox' NFL journey amid inactive streak

ALAMEDA -- The start to Keelan Doss' NFL career has been unique, to say the least. 

After going undrafted out of the University of California-Davis, Doss was signed by the Raiders and impressed early on in OTAs and training camp. The Alameda native became a fan favorite during the Raiders' run on HBO's "Hard Knocks," but eventually he was cut and signed on the Jaguars' practice squad. 

Doss' time away from the Raiders didn't last long, as he was given a $300K signing bonus along with the $495K salary to take Antonio Brown's spot on the roster after the star receiver demanded his release before Week 1. 

The rookie wideout was active from Weeks 2-7, totaling six catches for 79 yards as the receiver-starved Raiders tried to reshape their offense on the fly. Doss showed some promise in games against the Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers, but he has been inactive for the past four games, with newcomer Zay Jones and Marcell Ateman getting the nod to suit up. 

No player likes to sit on the sideline as his team battles for a playoff spot, but the rookie is taking everything in stride, focusing on getting better to earn his way onto the field. 

"I've just been in practice really just focusing on my game," Doss told NBC Sports Bay Area."The tools I know I can use when I do get in a position to play. Obviously it's tough just watching the team and everything, but at the end of the day I have to get better every day and that's what I continue to try to do."

"Just consistency, just every day," Doss continued. "I know my ability and what I can do. When I get an opportunity to go in I just have to continue to make plays like I have been and was when I was in the game."

[RELATED: Gruden enjoying Jacobs' success after Mack trade criticism

Not being able to contribute on Sundays has been tough, and his NFL journey has had more early twists and turns than most undrafted rookies. 

Still, Doss is happy to be a Raider and is taking each new curve with a positive attitude. 

"I couldn't make it up, you know what I mean?" Doss said about his first NFL season. "It's obviously unorthodox, but at the same time, I feel like God puts me in a position and I can handle it. I've enjoyed it. You've got to live in the moment, so that's what I try to do."

After three straight wins, the 6-4 Raiders will travel to New York on Sunday to face the Jets as they look to cement their foothold in the AFC playoff race. 

Doss will continue to hone his craft and be ready to make plays for the Silver and Black should they need him down the stretch. 

Raiders injury report: Lamarcus Joyner's status vs. Jets uncertain

Raiders injury report: Lamarcus Joyner's status vs. Jets uncertain

ALAMEDA – Raiders slot cornerback Lamarcus Joyner stretched with his team to start Wednesday’s practice, a light session conducted without helmets.

The veteran cover man did some work during the portion open to the press, but he apparently didn’t do much after that.

He was formally considered a non-participant on the team’s practice report, which is an estimation considering the workout was only a walk-through.

The Raiders have moved lighter sessions to Wednesday, with intensity ratcheting up on Thursday and then down a bit Friday.

Coach Jon Gruden didn’t say much about Joyner’s health status after he missed a Week 11 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals due to a hamstring injury from the previous game.

“He got in some work,” Gruden said. “… We weren’t doing much today, as you could see, in terms of full-speed work. We got a lot of reps today. I’m hopeful that he’ll be ready to play, but we’ll see how it goes when we lather them up [Thursday].”

Nevin Lawson assumed Joyner’s role against Cincinnati and was solid in the high-priced veteran’s place.

The Raiders obviously need one of their defensive captains healthy as soon as possible, as they push to make a playoff run. It’s uncertain, though unlikely, that Joyner can come back to play the Jets.

Oakland would like him back the following week against the Kansas City Chiefs, which could be a showdown for AFC West supremacy.

David Sharpe wasn’t available with a calf strain, though starting right tackle Trent Brown continues to play through knee issues.

The Raiders conducted a walk-through practice Wednesday. Therefore, the following participation report is an estimation.

[RELATED: Gruden enjoying Jacobs' success after Mack trade criticism]

Raiders practice report

WEDNESDAY
Did not practice
CB Lamarcus Joyner (hamstring)
OT David Sharpe (calf)

Limited practice
RB Josh Jacobs (shoulder)
C Rodney Hudson (ankle)
OT Trent Brown (knee)