Following the Raiders near-victory over the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1 of the new NFL season, here is a quick run through of how the team did as a whole.
Overall Grade: B-
The Oakland Raiders started the game slow and spotted the Indianapolis Colts a 14 point lead. The Raiders just looked out of sync to start the game. After the second score from the Colts the Raiders got rolling. The offense put up points and the defense kept the Colt’s out of the end zone until the fourth quarter. The Raiders out-gained the Colt’s in total yards.They made some mistakes that kept them from winning the game. This grade could have been an A if they would have won.
Quarterback Grade: B+
Terrelle Pryor looked very good in the first game of the season. He made the mistakes you would expect a quarterback with his experience to make. Pryor threw for 217 yards on 19-29 attempts. He completed passes to eight different receivers. His ability to move in the pocket and make plays really helped keep the offense moving on many drives. He also ran 13 times for 112 yards. Pryor, by himself, out-gained the Indianapolis Colts offense. This grade would have been higher if he hadn’t thrown two drive killing interceptions. These interceptions were the difference in the game.
Running Backs: C-
If you count Pryor as a running back instead of a quarterback this grade would go up. The running game never really got going throughout the game. Darren McFadden only gained 48 yards on 17 attempts. Rashad Jennings only gained two yards on one carry. Their isn’t much to say about these guys. The running game needs to improve to help take some pressure of Pryor.
Wide Receivers: C
The wide receivers, led by Rod Streeter and Denarius Moore, had a solid game. They helped the offense by getting open on many of Pyror’s scrambles. The receiving core accounted for 190 of the 217 passing yards. The receivers could have been more aggressive in fighting for the ball on some plays though.
Offensive Line: C-
This grade for the offensive line is skewed because of Pryor’s mobility. The offense also put up an impressive 372 yards. The offense line only gave up one sack. The reason the grade isn’t higher is because the running backs only gains 50 yards. Pryor was running for his life on many drop backs. Pryor’s ability to extend plays fixed the error of the offensive lines inability to block the Colt’s defense.
Defensive Line: B-
The defensive line was the second biggest surprise of the game with the first being the play of Pryor. After having lost two key pieces in Richard Seymore and Tommy Kelly, the line was a big question going into this season. The defensive line didn’t remove skepticism by being absent through the preseason. They put pressure on Andrew Luck all game. The line hit Luck five times and they sacked him twice. They held the running backs of the Colt’s to under 100 yards.
The new linebacking core that the Raiders brought in this off season did very good in Sunday’s game. They were tough on the run and they provided pressure on the quarterback. Kevin Burnett missed a key tackle that let Luck run free for a first down that could have stopped a drive.
Defensive Backs: B
In the beginning of the game, Andrew Luck was picking them apart. He made the two scoring drives look easy. As the game progress the secondary started to play better. They helped their cause by blitzing and bringing pressure on Luck. Some of the completions given up by the secondary were well covered. They had two sacks but no pass deflections or interception.
Special Teams: C+
The special teams kicking duo of Sebastian Janikowski and Marquette King made only one mistake on the day. Janikowski missed a field goal in the second quarter. This was the first hold by King for Janikowski in the regular season. They got the hang of it the second time around when they connected on a 38 yarder. The return team of Jacoby Ford and Phillip Adams didn’t make any spectacular plays but they didn’t cause any turnovers either. So the missed field goal is why the grade is a C+.