f the Oakland Raiders position groups were given letter grades and placed on a report card, the report would not even come close to being posted on the family refrigerator. Some groups have shown improvement while others have declined greatly. It would be nice to have all segments of the team thriving, but some find consistency boring.
(Grades are based on team expectations)
Overall Playcalling Grade (Jon Gruden/Greg Olson): A-
Despite the overall lack of consistency, the Raiders gameplan has remained fairly similar over the last three weeks: power runs with Jacobs and short passes melting into midrange/deep passes as the game progresses. Speaking of consistency, the Raiders have scored exactly 24 points in their last three games.
But the Raiders seem comfortable in this offense and have been running it better each week. The Raiders seemed to take some time to discover their identity, but just now appear to be hitting their stride.
Offensive Line Grade (Tom Cable): A+
Looking at the Raiders’ offensive line on paper could leave some to believe Tom Cable has one of the easiest jobs in the NFL. Despite the talent, the coaching of the offensive line has been incredible. The Raiders have allowed one sack in their last four games and have not allowed a sack in their last three. Derek Carr and Josh Jacobs constantly find comfort in the safety of the pocket.
Overall Playcalling Grade (Paul Guenther): D-
The only thing keeping this grade above an F is the promise the team showed in its earlier games.
Over the last two games, the defense has been disgusting. As previously discussed, the Raiders are settling in as a 24 points per game team, so the defense does not need to be elite, just good enough to allow 23 points per game (23 points allowed per game would rank the Raiders at 15th in the league). However, the Raiders currently sit at 28th in the league with 27 points allowed per game.
These last two weeks have been very hard to watch from a defensive standpoint. Whether it is Aaron Rodgers easily completing passes to open receivers or watching linebackers cover DeAndre Hopkins, it is quite easy to see something is wrong with this defense.
Defensive Line Grade (Brentson Buckner/Guenther): B
The 2019 Oakland Raiders have matched the 2018 Raiders sack total in just seven games. While 13 sacks put the Raiders at 25th in the league, it certainly shows improvement.
The Raiders have also significantly improved their run defense. In 2018, the team allowed an average of 140 rush yards per game, while this season they have cut it down to 93 rush yards per game, ranking them 9th in the league.
The defensive line has been the shining star of an otherwise dull defense.
Overall Grade: B-
We have seen the Raiders play much better than what they have shown in their two most recent losses. The team is far better than this.
Since seeing what the team can actually do, expectations have been raised significantly. 4-3 was held as the expectation throughout the entire game against the Texans, but now 4-4 is required.
The Raiders have a rare get-right/must-win game this Sunday against the Detroit Lions. The Raiders must get everyone back on track as they approach the significantly easier half of their schedule.