An Average Day for the Raiders OL

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Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - NOVEMBER 24: Derek Carr #4 of the Oakland Raiders passes during the first quarter of their game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on November 24, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

Derek Carr was sacked one time for seven yards against the Jets on Sunday. To many, if not all, teams, one sack allowed feels like a great day. But Sunday, it felt different. Yes, the Jets only registered one sack recorded, but Carr looked squeezed in the pocket. There is no stat for what was happening, but it felt like the pocket was frequently collapsing around Carr, but with no actual pressures. Carr simply did not have space to move but was not exactly in immediate threat from a defender. So, it can be said that the offensive line did their job statistically but failed in a game sense.

Manhandled

This game marked the first time it felt like the Raiders’ offensive line felt overpowered. Like the defense on a good day, the offensive line mentality appeared to be a “bend-don’t-break” one. On the other hand, the run blocking felt incredibly absent. Normally, holes the size of a truck exist for Josh Jacobs to get through, but there was nothing there. Jacobs looked overwhelmed at times but was still able to break tackles for some significant gains.

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Grading

It is incredibly difficult to grade an offensive line performance like this. It would be easy to grade them highly due to the one sack, but it would be just as easy to grade them poorly due to the amount of space Carr was given. The offensive line has been calling themselves “Carr Insurance”, but one could say this was dollar store insurance on Sunday.

Reality

What is the opposite of a coverage sack? Because that is exactly what happened a countless number of times on Sunday. There may have been receivers open, but Carr did not have the space to find them. It would be unfair to not mention that the Jets boast the top-ranked defensive line in the league. New York did an impeccable job creating unique blitz packages to confuse the offense, which may have contributed to the collapsing pocket.

Analysis

Offensive Line Grade: C. To some, this grade may come as a surprise. If your first rebuttal to the grade is to point out the lone sack allowed, you did not watch a majority of the game. Stats can tell a story, but play-by-play updates do not do the game justice. All in all, this has to be a motivation game. The game against Kansas City is one of those strange bounce-back/must-win combination games and it is up to the Raiders to determine whether they come out angry or scared. Andy Reid is a wizard coming out of a bye week, but Coach Jon Gruden might just be crazy enough to outsmart the wizard.

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