SD-OAK grades: Raiders QB Derek Carr grades well in close win
Oakland Raiders 34, San Diego Chargers 31
Here are the biggest takeaways and highest-graded players from the Raiders’ 34-31 victory over the Chargers.
Quarterback grade: Derek Carr 85.4
Carr excels under pressure
Sunday’s outing was not all positive for Derek Carr, who threw an interception and had another pass towards Amari Cooper that should have been intercepted. However, it says a lot about the way Carr is playing right now that even after taking into account these mistakes, he was still the best player on the field in the Raiders’ win. While he was his usual self when not pressured, Carr played even better under pressure. Taking away throwaways, the Oakland signal caller had only one inaccurate pass under pressure. Furthermore, he threw for 121 yards, averaged 12.1 yards per attempt, and had a passer rating of 144.2 on these attempts.
Top offensive grades:
WR Amari Cooper 82.2
OT Vadal Alexander 79.3
LG Kelechi Osemele 78.1
RG Gabe Jackson 76.2
LT Donald Penn 72.9
Skill-position players let Carr down
While the Raiders’ offensive line impressed against the Chargers, Oakland’s skill-position players, failed match that production. The Raiders’ running backs were unable to gain significant yardage once past what the line provided. DeAndre Washington, Jalen Richard, and Jamize Olawale forced only one missed tackle on 23 carries and averaged just 1.8 yards after contact. In addition, Michael Crabtree’s two first-half drops on third downs did not help the Raiders’ cause.
Top defensive grades:
LB Perry Riley, 88.7
DT Stacy McGee, 82.6
S Karl Joseph, 79.8
OLB Khalil Mack, 79.1
CB Sean Smith, 75.3
Rookie Karl Joseph has a busy day in Oakland’s secondary
Coming into the game, rookie S Karl Joseph hadn’t been tested much in coverage, as he had allowed just five-of-five passes to be completed for 33 yards. Chargers QB Philip Rivers went after the rookie six times, completing five passes for 71 yards and a touchdown, but also had a pass broken up and threw a pick to him (though Joseph wasn’t the primary coverage defender on that play). Despite the large yardage number and the allowed touchdown, Joseph graded decently well while notching a couple of defensive stops and playing strong against the run.
Quarterback grade: Philip Rivers, 73.4
Veteran QB Philip Rivers had a fine enough day, despite two early interceptions. He tested the Raiders’ defense deep quite often, as eight of his 30 attempts were beyond 20 yards in the air, but he was only able to complete three of them for 104 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. When kept clean, Rivers was extremely accurate, as he had a passer rating of 135.4 and completed 16-of-22 for 302 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception; when the pressure got to him, however, the signal caller had a rough go of it, as he threw an interception and fumbled on a sack.
Top offensive grades:
WR Tyrell Williams, 80.6
TE Hunter Henry, 80.3
LT King Dunlap, 79.2
WR Travis Benjamin, 76.0
RG D.J. Fluker, 74.8
Strong performance from receiving corps not enough to overcome Melvin Gordon’s woes
Impressive receiving days from WRs Travis Benjamin, WR Tyrell Williams, and TE Hunter Henry were overshadowed by the loss and RB Melvin Gordon’s second fumble in as many games. Benjamin was targeted 10 times and caught seven passes for 134 yards. Even more impressively, second-year UDFA Williams yielded a perfect passer rating of 158.3 when targeted on six throws, catching five targets for 117 yards and one touchdown. Rookie TE Hunter Henry is stepping out of veteran Antonio Gates’ shadow, as the former Arkansas Razorback continues to gain valuable targets and make the most of them, as he now ranks fifth in yards per route run, at 1.97 for the season.
Top defensive grades:
DE Joey Bosa, 86.0
LB Korey Toomer, 81.0
S Dwight Lowery, 77.6
OLB Kyle Emanuel, 77.5
DT Brandon Mebane, 77.0
Bosa impresses in NFL debut
Rookie Joey Bosa was a lone bright spot on San Diego’s defense, as he exceeded expectations in his NFL debut. Although he rushed the passer on only 20 plays, he was still able to record two sacks, one quarterback hit, and four quarterback hurries, and beat his blocker on one additional play. Whereas Bosa impressed, the Chargers’ secondary was unable to stop the Raiders’ air attack, as cornerbacks Casey Hayward and Steve Williams allowed a passer rating of 130.8 and 135.4, respectively.
PFF Game-Ball Winner: Raiders QB Derek Carr
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