SD-OAK Grades: Mack and Carr shine in nail-biter

The top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Raiders 23-20 overtime victory over the Chargers.

| 2 years ago
(AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

(AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

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:

Oakland Raiders

– 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.

Top performers:

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.

Top performers:

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)

  • crosseyedlemon

    Not sure why the Chargers tried to win this game and move down the board for next seasons draft.

    • anon76returns

      I don’t get why everyone thinks a franchise will tank for draft picks. Coaches that tank get fired. Players that tank get cut or traded. Every member of the franchise that can actually effect the outcome of a game has zero motivation to lose, and every reason to try and win. Just ask Bill Pollian, Jim Caldwell, and the 2011 Colts roster, nearly all of which was replaced by the 2013 season. I don’t think it was any consolation to those guys that the Colts got to draft Andrew Luck- I’m sure they would have rather saved their jobs.

      • Tim Edell

        I agree 100% with you. It bothers me even more when a fan of the team says I hope we lose to get a better draft pick. I would never ever root against my Bears I’m order to obtain a higher draft pick. Merry Christmas!!

        • crosseyedlemon

          Been a Bears fan since 63 and I won’t be at all upset if Lovie Smith beats us today because he did a good job as head coach in Chicago no matter what anyone says. Merry Christmas Tim.

          • Mark Erickson

            I totally respect this outlook, but, as a fan mind you, what are your thoughts that if losing one game with no playoff implications would result in your team obtaining the next JJ Watt or Tom Brady, which would galvanize your team for the next decade and beyond, being the factor that gets you to the post season every year and bringing you the kind of play that makes your team that much more exciting to watch? It rarely happens, but it DOES happen. I don’t encourage this type of action for the sake of pride and competition and spirit of the game, but I can absolutely understand why an organization would choose to take this route if they felt “their guy” was waiting for them in the upcoming draft and was projected to be taken extremely high. Makes more sense than mortgaging your entire draft stock to get him, and far less damaging in the long run (think RG3)

          • Sam Doohan

            When you’re talking about a team with perennial problems then I can absolutely understand them targeting the draft in the final few weeks of the season. I agree it’s crappy as a fan or even as a player/coach but at some point teams need to think about the future. You need more talent so you maximize your draft stock and get the best players possible.

            Especially with how big a deal QBs are right now you absolutely need to get right at the top. Even picking at no 5 might not be high enough to take a quality QB prospect. This has been the absolute bane of Cleveland over the past few years. Perfect example was them picking at no 3 in 2012; 1 and 2 were Andrew Luck and RG3; both amazing prospects that went to other needy teams because the Browns didn’t suck quite enough and are always stuck picking midway down the first round from what’s left not what’s good for them. That’s how teams stay dreadful for years on end; by sabotaging their own ability to acquire better players.

          • Stephen J Brady

            It’s rational to tank games if you’re a GM or owner and there’s no chance of making the playoffs. This isn’t a rational game though. It’s built on competition. Regardless of the implications, teams would al.ost always prefer to be spoilers to other teams then intentionally lose for a.draft pick. Especially the players.

          • John

            Just as likely to pick a Jamarcus or Ryan Leaf… JJ Watt (pick 11) and Brady (pick 199) would prove you do NOT need to tank to pick up franchise saving talent

          • Mark Erickson

            If you have concerns that your scouting team is going to produce this result, I’d say you have bigger organizational issues than what your draft pick is. Unless this is your way of expressing that draft position isn’t valuable, in which case were discussing something entirely different than ethics…view it how you see fit I suppose .

  • Alfredo Cota

    For the second time this year I see Penn getting a +2 when I really thought he played subpar…

    • Matt

      I would like to see Webb’s grade, I think he had three penalties called on him.

  • Brian

    Carr is a beast, and more proof you always want a college QB like him over and RGIII or Kaepernick. Carr, Cooper, Mack a rookie Ben Heeney. Has Oakland finally righted the ship? I know we think so every once in a while but this team seems legit good and with staying power to build on