HOU-OAK grades: Carr excellent in Raiders' comeback win
Oakland Raiders 27, Houston Texans 20
Here are the highest-graded players and top takeaways from the Raiders 27-20 win over the Texans on Monday:
Quarterback grades: Derek Carr, 87.3
Stellar Carr leads comeback effort by Raiders
While Derek Carr had a solid night overall, he had a couple of throws in particular that he’d probably like to have back. Carr overthrew Clive Walford in the back of the end zone following a Texans muffed kickoff and the Raiders had to settle for a field goal. The second was an inexcusable inaccurate toss to the middle of the field that was picked off by AJ Bouye. Those throws aside, though, Carr was excellent on a night in which his receivers did not give him much help. Raiders receivers dropped three passes, two of which would have extended drives. Michael Crabtree also had a perfectly thrown touchdown pass bounce out of his hands when he was going to the ground. But Carr led the comeback and hit Jamize Olawale down the field for the tying score, and found Amari Cooper mismatched on Benardrick McKinney for the win.
Top offensive grades
QB Derek Carr 87.3
OT Austin Howard 81.9
FB Jamize Olawale 80.4
G Gabe Jackson 78.0
OT Donald Penn 75.5
Raiders offensive line keeps Carr clean all night
Although the Raiders’ offensive line was not strong in run blocking as we’ve been accustomed to in recent weeks, they were excellent in pass protection. Derek Carr was only pressured on two of 31 dropbacks (six percent). RT Austin Howard, who had a pass-blocking grade of 84.3, did not allow a pressure all game and led the effort up front. The impact of the pass protection was best shown on the Jamize Olawale touchdown, during which no Texan rusher came near Carr as he sat back in the pocket for 3.6 seconds and was able to come back to Olawale down the field as the Texans’ zone was stretched out.
Top defensive grades:
ED Khalil Mack, 84.4
CB David Amerson, 81.2
CB Sean Smith, 80.9
ED Bruce Irvin, 80.1
LB Malcolm Smith, 79.6
Mack, Irvin shine on defense
Khalil Mack was unable to continue his amazing hot streak where he recorded 21 total pressures in the past two weeks, instead he recorded a more mortal seven total pressures. His speed and power was too much for the Texans to handle, as it is for most teams. The encouraging sign for the Raiders was the continuing strong play of Bruce Irvin as a pass-rusher. In the past four weeks he has recorded 16 total pressures; against the Texans he was able to provide a good complementary pass rush to help pressure Osweieler 52.4 percent of the time.
Quarterback grade: Brock Osweiler, 53.3
Osweiler comes up short
Going into the game Osweiler had a QB rating of 38.8 when under pressure. Against the Raiders he provided a spark when he was under pressure, completing 72.2 percent of his passes and finishing the game with a 115.0. This kept the Texans offense in the game as he was under pressure on more than 50 percent of his drop backs. Osweiler was unable to hit the deep ball, which included an interception down the seam. However, he was able to make up for it with his intermediate passing, as he went six of seven for 105 yards and one TD (and what should have been a second TD). He was able to keep the Texans in the game but was not able to take them over the hump, as the Raiders were able to slow him down on the last drive.
Top offensive grades:
TE C.J. Fiedorowicz, 78.6
C Greg Mancz, 78.4
G Jeff Allen, 77.3
WR DeAndre Hopkins, 75.8
T Duane Brown, 59.1
Fiedorowicz builds strong connection with Oswieler
With the struggles of Oswieler, he looked often to his tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz. The third-year player out of Iowa has improved each season and is now one of the better all-around TEs in the league. He has the height match up to go up and get the ball and is not a liability in the run game. Against the Raiders he had his first two drops of the season, but he clearly has built a connection with Osweiler that no other passing threat seems to have gained.
Top defensive grades
ED Jadaveon Clowney 84.9
S Andre Hal 76.2
S Eddie Pleasant 75.6
S Corey Moore 75.5
CB Jonathan Joseph 73.9
Clowney dominant against the run in loss
Jadaveon Clowney was outstanding on a national stage against the Raiders on Monday night. He was fantastic against the run with five run stops and a run defense grade of 94.5. He also had two pressures in the game– good for a 70.9 pass rush grade. One of those pressures came on the first play from scrimmage in the second half, which forced Carr to throw an ill-advised ball that was picked off by AJ Bouye and allowed the Texans to pull ahead.
PFF Game-Ball Winner: Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr
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