SD-OAK grades: Raiders QB Derek Carr grades well in close win

Highest-graded players and top takeaways from the Raiders' Week 5 home win over the Chargers.

| 2 months ago
Raiders QB Derek Carr

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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.

Oakland Raiders

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.

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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.

San Diego Chargers

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.

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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

PFF’s player grading process includes multiple reviews, which may change the grade initially published in order to increase its accuracy. Learn more about how we grade and access grades for every player through each week of the NFL season by subscribing to Player Grades.

| Analyst

John is an analyst for Pro Football Focus and former safety for the University of Kansas Jayhawks (2004–2006).

  • Mike Riley

    Bosa had prob the best debut of a pass rusher I can recall ever. They didn’t mention his other TFL on a back in the 1st half on 1 of his 1st plays. Not happy we have to play them again this year & twice a year for the next decade.

    • crosseyedlemon

      I think you need to hang with the hardcore Raider fans Mike and develop some of the bluster they are famous for…lol. The Silver & Black haven’t scored many style points the past 2 weeks but didn’t Al Davis say “just win baby”.

      • Mike Riley

        I’ll take the win. Happy w/ 4-1. Just saying his debut seemed understated considering he was tentatively used & still had an incredible performance .

    • Mr McMurderer

      Bosa was also matched up against Vadaal Alexander, a rookie guard who was filling in as the 4th string RT, literally the last available lineman the Raiders have. Anymore injures and Del Rio said a tight end would have to play the RT spot. Bosa did look good, but he wasn’t facing what you would call decent competition either. 2 be fair. We’ll get a better idea of how disruptive he’ll be next time we play and either Watson or Howard are starting @ RT.

      • Mike Riley

        And? Alexander had a solid game in pass protection vs the Ravens & Dumerville who isn’t a novice rookie playing his 1st game. He also lined up on Penn who shut out Terrell Suggs. What’s your point? Don’t downplay how good a game he had. If the Chargers get a defensive minded HC that knows how to run a 4-3 scheme/hybrid they have something to build on.

        • Mr McMurderer

          I ended up having to edit my comment as I accidentally hit post while trying to make a correction. The point I was making was that Bosa attacked the side where 2 of our best blockers (Howard/Lee Smith) are now injured and replaced with rookie 3rd and 4th stringers (still surprised no one got fined over that dirty hit on Smith vs the Ravens, probably because he wasn’t a household name). That was our poorest pass blocking game by far this season, and we’ve faced much better pass rushes. Missing Murray also really hurt, as our rookie RBs are terrible at picking up blitzes, which is why so many free rushers were able to get to Carr. One other thing is that there was no way to game plan around Bosa, which is what teams will now do now that there’s a little bit of tape on him. That was probably his biggest advantage, that no one knew what to expect from him, so there was no way to prepare the Oline for what he brings. Not unlike a rookie QB coming in and tearing it up, only to get bottled up once defenses have enough tape to exploit them and find their weaknesses.

        • warcrimes

          His “solid” game was three Holding penalties and moving before the snap.

      • Slcraider801

        Feliciano and kirkland are linemen not to mention Howard who played vs SD while Alexander was hurt. Alexander was not our last lineman. He earned the start over Howard. No way they would line Rivera up at tackle or the other Rookie tight end in his first game. Lee Smith is on IR and walford was inactive. Give credit when due Bosa was solid.

      • ccca

        But he had many of his pass rushes coming from the (off.) left side as RDE/ROLB so it’s not like he just took advantage of another rookie.