Raiders

Raiders report card: Grades on offense, defense in 42-24 loss to Packers

Raiders report card: Grades on offense, defense in 42-24 loss to Packers

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Raiders knew they had to score consistently to keep up with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. This had the makings of a shootout early as teams exchanged blows, but the back and forth went lopsided during a second-quarter swing that turned this game on its ear.

It was the first of three Raiders red-zone disasters, with Derek Carr’s fumble out of the end zone for a touchback, Josh Jacobs’ turnover on downs after getting stuffed before the goal line and Carr’s late interception. That’s 21 points taken off the board in an 18-point loss to the Packers.

“We were able to throw it and run it efficiently for most of the game,” Carr said. “When we got inside the 5 is where we let it go. Turning the ball over down there can’t happen. At the end of the day, we have to finish. We have to finish those drives. We were doing a great job on third down, but finishing in the red zone will be a point of emphasis this week.”

That was a major Raiders failing in this outcome, where the Silver and Black struggled in some area and excelled in others. Let’s take a look at the complete Raiders report card from Sunday’s loss to the Packers:

Rushing Offense

Josh Jacobs keeps on breaking personal bests. The rookie had a career-high 124 yards on 21 carries, including a bruising opening salvo certainly felt by Adrian Amos, with a 42-yard scamper two plays later and a 27-yard run in the second half. He churned out 5.9 yards per carry and was as effective and efficient as ever in his latest performance, continuing a stack of excellent showings. 

Jacobs said the fullback and offensive line set the tone, but he was the star of the show. Jacobs got shut down at the goal line, however, with a leap that went nowhere after the Packers sniffed it out. He has been excellent near the end zone but couldn’t get it done on a few occasions Sunday and Carr was running when he fumbled out of the end zone. Those play really that hurt the team.

Grade: B-minus

Passing Offense

Carr missed some early throws high but found great rhythm after that, completing 22-of-28 passes for 293 yards and two touchdowns. His interception in the end zone came late but still isn’t a risk worth taking trying to throw over double coverage trying to connect with Foster Moreau.

Carr was efficient despite not having Tyrell Williams and Zay Jones, who were rendered inactive. Darren Waller was awesome as usual and Moreau had another solid day. Tight ends paced the passing game yet again and have become a formidable force each week.

Grade: B

Run Defense

The typically stout Raiders run defense had another strong day, allowing just 60 yards on 23 total carries. Take away Aaron Jones’ 15-yard run and the Packers averaged 2.04 yards per carry. That’s a solid sum and a sign that the linebackers, defensive linemen in the base defense especially were typically solid slowing down the opposing ground game. 

That’s the Raiders’ defensive bedrock and will be all season. It’s a positive that run defense has held strong since getting gashed by Dalvin Cook back in Week 3.

Grade: A-minus

Pass Defense

Rodgers had a perfect passer rating over 31 throws. Wrap your head around that. That has happened just a handful of times in modern NFL history. That’s how good Rodgers was on Sunday. He completed nine passes of 21 yards or more, including three scores, and had five passing touchdowns total. Sure, Rodgers is awesome. The Raiders also didn’t play well. 

Gareon Conley in particular struggled to cover and tackle well, though most cornerbacks got beat handily at least once. It was a bad day at the office for all involved, from the pass rush -- Clelin Ferrell was invisible on Sunday -- to the guys asked to cover in the secondary. This constituted a no-good, very-bad day for the pass defense, giving up 429 yards through the air and averaged 13.2 yards per attempt. That’s terrible. The Raiders simply must do better.

Grade: F

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Special Teams

Trevor Davis had a a nice kickoff return and a nice punt return against his old team. A.J. Cole only punted twice and put both attempts inside the opposing 20-yard line and had a 59-yard boomer. Daniel Carlson hit his lone field goal attempt. The Raiders pinned the Packers deep on every drive, but then couldn’t stop them defensively. That’s not the kicking game’s fault.

Grade: B

Overall

The Raiders don’t have the talent and quick-strike capability to make up for major mistakes, and they made too many against an excellent Packers team. That’s a recipe for trouble. The costly late-first-half swing completely changed this game, and the Raiders never recovered. They have won games playing their way, establishing early leads held by an efficient run game. 

The Packers' passing attack was relentless, and Rodgers went for the knockout when he saw the Raiders wobble. This doesn’t mean the Raiders are a bad team or have no chance to beat similarly proficient competition. But, on this day, they were the inferior team unable to rebound after a major setback.

Grade: F

Why Bill Belichick will miss Oakland Coliseum after Raiders' finale

Why Bill Belichick will miss Oakland Coliseum after Raiders' finale

It’s no secret that New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick isn’t a man of many words.

When it comes to his press conferences, answers don’t tend to extend longer than a sentence or two.

But when the six-time Super Bowl champion coach was asked about the Raiders playing their final game at the Oakland Coliseum on Sunday, the famously tight-lipped coach opined on the soon-to-be-former home of the Silver and Black.

“Pretty intense fans. It’s like Halloween every Sunday there,” Belichick said to reporters Friday. “So, yeah. I mean, it’s a great environment.

“When I was with the Broncos, of course we played out there, so that was – especially at that time in ’78, if I get that right – I’m pretty sure the Broncos won the division that year. We were right there with the Raiders. It was the Raiders-Broncos. It was a very intense rivalry, so there was a lot of – there was the game, and then there was all the other aspects of the game.

“But, yeah, the Oakland crowd was a lot more intense than the L.A. crowd, and we’ll miss it. We’ll miss it.”

One thing the legendary coach won’t miss is the iconic Black Hole.

[RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Davis discusses end of Raiders' Oakland era]

“I think we kind of warmed up down there, so it’s not really where you want to be as a visiting coach,” Belichick said. “Tell the players not to stand too close to them in case they throw something and miss.”

The Raiders will host the Jacksonville Jaguars in their finale in front of the Oakland crowd on Sunday, as the team will officially move its operations to Las Vegas before the 2020 season.

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Five Raiders to watch in Week 15: Derek Carr must raise game vs. Jaguars

Five Raiders to watch in Week 15: Derek Carr must raise game vs. Jaguars

OAKLAND -- The Raiders will play their last game at Oakland Coliseum on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars. It will be an emotional day for everyone involved.

That includes Jon Gruden, as attached to this East Bay fan base as anyone. The Raiders coach has shut off his emotions all week, driving focus into preparation for this game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. That’s the last Oakland moment he can control, and Gruden plans to take advantage.

Gruden desperately wants this win, and a victory might finally provide the opportunity to be emotional about the team’s scheduled move to Las Vegas.

“I wish I had time to stand up here and thank all the fans," Gruden said earlier this week. "I wish I had more time to really sit down and make that the big story here, and thank the fans for their support over the years, and what this franchise has accomplished, and what it means and what Oakland means to the Raiders. So, I’d like to thank everyone that welcomed us back when we came back and I know that they are going to stay with us when we go, but I appreciate all the fans and their loyalty and their support. We’ll try to give you one hell of a show.”

In order to put on a showstopper, the Raiders will need good performances from these five guys.

QB Derek Carr

I generally try to leave the franchise quarterback off these lists, but we’ll make an exception for the last Raiders game in Oakland. He got booed off the field after last week’s first half and again at the end, but this fan base still has a great affinity for the signal-caller who started virtually every game since 2014.

Carr owes them his best on Sunday, and odds are great he’ll put on a show for the faithful. He must improve upon recent performances to execute his plan. Carr will need help from a so-so receiver corps and an offensive line -- Trent Brown’s questionable with a pectoral strain -- that haven’t been at full strength all season.

Emotional Derek Carr is generally the best Derek Carr -- the season opener is a great example -- so we should anticipate him being on top of his game. The Jaguars have struggled mightily this season. but they’re sure to put up a fight during the final game in Oakland.

Carr is capable of putting a team on his shoulders, and he might have to with the Raiders defense playing as it is.

RB Josh Jacobs

The Raiders don’t have much to play for. Their playoff hopes are essentially dead, with the path to the postseason now complicated calculus when it was simple math not long ago. Jacobs is this team’s offensive engine, the player who matters most in what the Raiders do moving the football.

They know that. They believe his fractured shoulder can’t get worse and are hoping to trot him out there Sunday to help win the last game in Oakland. Jacobs' play exponentially increases their chances to win, and Jacobs knows that. He desperately wants to win this game.

The rookie is expected to be active, though it’s unclear exactly how much he will play. A 20-plus carry dose should do the Jaguars in. If he can provide that, the Raiders are in great shape if the defense holds up even a little bit. If not, Sunday could well be a struggle.

CB Isaiah Johnson

There’s no telling how much the fourth-round draft pick will play Sunday. Heck, he might not play at all.

Johnson hasn’t done much since returning off injured reserve, at times a healthy scratch since being activated around midseason. He has sat behind other guys during a playoff push and that made sense, but now it doesn’t. The Raiders are essentially out of the postseason running, with cornerback Daryl Worley either out with a neck injury or moving to strong safety in the base package.

That provides an opportunity to see what Johnson’s got. He won’t be his absolute best, not after missing most of training camp and half the regular season with a facial fracture suffered in the first regular-season game. Rookies can’t make up for that lost time until the following offseason, and Johnson clearly would’ve played earlier had he not been behind.

But it’s time to throw him out there as a test, to see what you’ve got in a talented young player. If he gives up a massive play, so what? The guy has to learn on the job. That’s how Trayvon Mullen has done it, and the Clemson product has thrived despite making some rookie mistakes. It’s time to let Johnson do the same.

DE Maxx Crosby

A devout Raiders follower made a flag to hang over the Oakland Coliseum railing -- enjoy that while you can Raider Nation, the tradition isn’t following you to Las Vegas -- to honor the departing club. He featured a skull and swords as crossbones, with a name filling out the remaining fabric. It said Mad Maxx.

That honors the rookie pass rusher who has already adhered himself to the fan base with one sack and pressure after another. He has proven a better run defender than people have expected. The Silver and Black need him to step up Sunday and generate heat largely missing from recent games.

Crosby currently has 7.5 sacks and would certainly like to reach 10 in his rookie year, needing at least a sack on Sunday to make that happen and give him a chance to compete for the Defensive Rookie of the Year award.

WR Tyrell Williams

The veteran receiver just isn’t right. Coaches volunteered that Williams' plantar fasciitis has plagued him all season despite it keeping him out just two games in the early going.

Williams simply hasn’t produced at a No. 1 receiver level, which has hurt the offense as a whole. Drops have been a real issue, and his lack of consistent separation can be attributed to his ailing foot.

He is not even on the injury report and is expected to play, and Williams has to produce if that’s the case. He remains the team’s best receiver and has to act like in the final game played in the spot where his grandparents live, in the town where he spent so much time as a kid.