SD-OAK Grades: Mack and Carr shine in nail-biter
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Raiders 23-20 overtime victory over the Chargers:
– After a down display against the Packers last week, Derek Carr (+4.1) rebounded with a strong display against the Chargers on Christmas Eve with some memorable throws, one of which was arguably the best game winning throw of the season thus far. His perfectly placed fade throw to Michael Crabtree put the Raiders in front after David Johnson’s fumble, but it was his overtime throw to Andre Holmes that was the throw of the night, even if Holmes just couldn’t hang on to it.
– On defense, Khalil Mack starred again in spite of recording no sacks for the first time since the Raiders Week 11 trip to Detroit. Racking up six pressures, he also registered a batted pass and two stops in his second highest graded game of the season (tied with Week 3). With one week to play, Mack lies just +4.0 behind Robert Quinn (+80.8, 2013) for the highest single season grade for an edge defender that we have ever graded.
– Another eye-catching display on defense last night came from rookie linebacker Ben Heeney (+1.8), who tied for the team lead with four defensive stops. Heeney’s recognition and speed to close on the ball when it was in front of him was extremely impressive, helping him earn a positive grade in coverage for the fourth straight week since he started to see his playing time increase.
OLB Khalil Mack (+7.5)
QB Derek Carr (+4.1)
DE Denico Autry (+3.8)
LG Gabe Jackson (+2.8)
LT Donald Penn (+2.2)
San Diego Chargers
– Philip Rivers (+1.6) continues to soldier on willfully for this Chargers football team, but when his receivers put six balls on the ground and he’s pressured on 18/50 dropbacks (as he was last night), it’s tough to overcome those odds to achieve more than he did last night. Solid in short throws, it was a lack of plays down the field (4/14, 70 yards on targets 10 plus yards in the air) that ultimately held the Chargers back from the chance to record consecutive victories last night .
– The disparity in performance from the Chargers’ inside linebackers continues to catch the eye with rookie Denzel Perryman (+0.6) once again outshining Manti Te’o (-4.6) with both playing in excess of 70 snaps. While Perryman earned his sixth straight positive grade and tied his season high with six defensive stops, Te’o missed a pair of tackles to take his season total to 14 and earned negative grades as a run defender and in coverage in the same game for the fourth time this season.
– This has been a season of growth for outside linebacker Melvin Ingram (+1.4), who earned his eighth straight positive grade last night, adding his 11th sack of the season to his résumé. Simply staying on the field has been a problem for Ingram until this season and inconsistent performance has come with being in and out of the lineup. This season, Ingram has played more than 95% of the Chargers’ defensive snaps, and after a somewhat up and down first seven weeks of the season, has really settled into a rhythm since the Chargers visit to Baltimore and he will hope that this can be a springboard for even greater success next season.
OLB Jerry Attaochu (+3.3)
CB Jason Verrett (+1.7)
QB Philip Rivers (+1.6)
DE Kendall Reyes (+1.6)
OLB Melvin Ingram (+1.4)