Raiders report card: Grades for offense, defense in 31-24 win vs Colts

Raiders report card: Grades for offense, defense in 31-24 win vs Colts

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Raiders showed gumption, heart and resolve Sunday in a 31-24 road win over the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.

They put some elbow grease into this one before heading to London for a clash with the Chicago Bears. They didn’t go in the tank, or crash and burn when the Colts pulled within one score. Josh Jacobs pin-balled through Indy's defense in a flash, sealing the victory with some hard runs. They got contributions from all over, including some unheralded folks, in what truly was a team win.

Let’s grade out the Raiders in this week's report card:

Rushing offense

Jacobs is legit. That’s not exactly breaking news, but the first-round draft pick again proved his mettle, with 79 yards on 17 carries, including the final two required to get a late first down and secure victory.

The Alabama product is super confident and consistent, showing he could be a top-tier running back. The interior line deserves some kudos as well for creating seams large enough to spring Jacobs forward.

Overall, the Raiders had 188 yards and one touchdown on 32 carries, good for 5.9 yards per carry. Gruden dialed up a great play call with Trevor Davis' sweep, which went 60 yards for a touchdown. He only got there because of excellent downfield blocking from Kolton Miller and Darren Waller.

A fumbled exchange was the day’s only mishap in the run game. Overall, that’s excellent work from the entire operation.

Grade: A

Passing offense

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr had a ho-hum day at the office, completing 21 of 31 passes for 189 yards and two TDs. It should've been three, but Tyrell Williams had a case of the drops and let an easy TD catch hit the turf.

Pass protection was solid, with only one sack allowed and time for Carr to work. He spread the ball to eight different targets, including a TD strike to Foster Moreau that required significant trust in the fourth-round pick.

Williams wasn’t the only receiver lacking sure hands, and Carr misfired a few times, but he kept the ball out of harm's way and did everything required to get the win.

Grade: B

Rushing defense

This unit was gashed by Dalvin Cook last week in Minnesota, but corralled Colts rusher Marlon Mack for most of the day. The Colts averaged 3.5 yards per carry, and Mack had just 39 yards on 11 carries, with most of that sum coming on an 18-yard run.

The Raiders were able to function well even after Vontaze Burfict’s ejection. That’s a good thing, considering a suspension might be on the way for the Raiders' captain.

P.J. Hall was solid working inside, and the defensive front was disciplined. That effort rebounded well after last week’s disaster.

Grade: A-minus

Passing defense

Erik Harris had a key pick-six late in his first start of the season after taking over for Curtis Riley. Harris was upset he gave up a late touchdown to keep it close, and he’ll have to avoid such critical mistakes in his next start.

Lamarcus Joyner rarely left the field, and made several big plays on the ball. The pass rush still is lacking, through Maxx Crosby had a solid day. The rookie had two batted passes, a forced fumble and a quarterback hit.

The Raiders were fortunate that Colts tight end Eric Ebron couldn’t hold on to the ball. Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett threw for three TDs, but he wasn't efficient, and he never looked off his target on Harris' pick six.

The Raiders' secondary fared well, but the pass rush has to pick it up.

Grade: C-plus

Special teams

The Raiders finally won the field-position battle after being awful in that area in their three previous games.

A.J. Cole put three of his five punts inside the 20-yard line, and the Colts' returns weren’t impactful. The Raiders' return game clearly misses Dwayne Harris, even though Davis has sprinter’s speed.

Daniel Carlson hit his only field-goal attempt, and it was important after he was mercilessly booed in Minnesota, where his misses are well-remembered.

Grade: B


Gruden had his Raiders playing hard. They took control early and held on through the finish, showing real toughness down the stretch. This was a big win, a character-builder for a Raiders team still finding itself after all the Antonio Brown drama and a series of key injuries.

The Raiders were ready to play and stopped a two-game slide. Gruden’s staff deserves a gold star for this one.

Grade: A

Raiders injury report: Josh Jacobs, Trent Brown miss practice Thursday

Raiders injury report: Josh Jacobs, Trent Brown miss practice Thursday

ALAMEDA – The Raiders desperately need running back Josh Jacobs and right tackle Trent Brown available for Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans.

Both players have spent significant time playing through pain, and that very well could happen again this week.

Jacobs has been dealing with a fractured shoulder since Week 7. Brown has missed one game, but has played through ankle and knee injuries thus far this season. Now, he has a pectoral ailment keeping him out of practice.

Brown has played through a ton of pain and could well do so again.

“He’s had a number of different injuries throughout this season,” offensive coordinator Greg Olson said. “Nagging injuries more than anything else as you’ve seen. He’s missed practice but he has been ready to go on Sunday.”

Jacobs volunteered on social media that his shoulder is fractured, and him missing practice enitrely -- instead of being limited -- is a slight difference from previous weeks.

The Raiders try to manage his workload during the week to get him as ready as possible for game day.

“We would never put a player in harm, but we’ve managed him and he’s been honest with us in terms of the injury,” Olson said. “Our training staff has done a great job really throughout the week making sure he’s ready to go on Sundays.”

[RELATED: How Carr, Raiders' offense can get back on track vs. Titans]

Right guard Gabe Jackson did not participate in Thursday’s session after being considered limited for a Wednesday walk-through conducted indoors. His participation level on Friday will give further indication of his readiness for Sunday.

Raiders practice report

Did not practice
WR Hunter Renfrow (rib)
RB Josh Jacobs (shoulder)
OT Trent Brown (pectoral)
LB Kyle Wilber (ankle)
RG Gabe Jackson (knee)

Limited practice
C Rodney Hudson (ankle)
CB Lamarcus Joyner (hamstring)

Derek Carr details what must get fixed to reignite Raiders offense

Derek Carr details what must get fixed to reignite Raiders offense

ALAMEDA – The Raiders stink. They’re a terrible team after blowout losses against the Jets and Chiefs despite being truly amazing just over a fortnight’s past, when they were coming off a three-game winning streak that made them NFL darlings and a resurgent playoff contender.

That’s the same team we’re talking about, One coming off dramatically different results that have a once confident fan base pulling its hair out heading into Sunday’s vital matchup against the Tennessee Titans.

A win against them at Oakland Coliseum and all is right in the world (again). Lose and it’s apocalypse now.

“I’m excited we get a chance to go compete against a really good football team,” quarterback Derek Carr said. “That’s the beautiful thing about this game. You rewind two weeks ago, we were the greatest story in the NFL and two weeks later we suck again, so I think we’ll be alright. (laughter) We are just going to keep grinding. We’re going to stick to what we do.”

Carr admits they’ll have to do better, especially on offense. The passing game is stuck in neutral, revving its engine without moving an inch.

That’s large part receiver issues – Jon Gruden says he’s shaking up that position group this week – and some lackluster quarterback play with two pick-sixes in the last two games. Can’t have that, plain and simple. The Raiders can’t afford the penalty issues plaguing them recently. They can’t afford the nine-quarter touchdown drought that stretched from the Bengals game through the Jets contest and deep into the Chiefs embarrassment. The Raiders beat the Bengals but have been outscored 74-21 in two losses since.

“We’ve had a rough two weeks,” Carr said. “I’ve had a rough two weeks. It’s time to get back on track, it’s time to get back in our stadium, it’s time to be efficient on offense, it’s time to win. I’m excited we get a chance to go compete against a really good football team.”

The Raiders' offense must find a groove after hitting a rough patch, but let’s not forget this unit posted 24 or more points for six straight weeks. They can get going again by finding old magic. The key, Carr says, is staying on schedule and staying balanced. They have to start strong – they aren’t built to overcome large deficits – and avoid major mistakes.

[RELATED: Carr can't say enough about rookie Jacobs' toughness]

That’s how the Raiders did it before. That’s how they can do it again.

“Our execution has not been good enough at all,” Carr said. “Like executing the plays to every detail hasn’t been good enough at all. Turning the ball over myself. I don’t do that. I don’t want to do that. Never been something I’ve wanted to do or been a part of my game and so it doesn’t matter how it happened or why it happened, it happened, and we have to eliminate the turnovers and that starts with me.”