Oakland Raiders Week 5: Raider Grades at the Quarter Pole

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Oakland Raiders Week 5: Raider Grades at the Quarter Pole
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images
Too little McFadden = a bad Raiders offense

Here's a joke you haven't heard 30 times this week: At least the Raiders didn't lose this week! As Oakland continues its bye week, preparing for the now 5-0 Atlanta Falcons next Sunday, I felt it was time to assess the team after the first four weeks of the season. 

There have been a few patterns established. One, the front four simply is not generating a pass rush. The absolute must for the 2012 defense to improve was a dominant quarter led by Richard Seymour. Instead, the unit has been patently average so far and a huge reason for the defensive woes thus far.

Having said that, I have noticed that the effort has been much better at home (even as Ben Roethlisberger threw for a career high in Week 3) than it has on the road. Considering the offenses have been pretty similar overall (Denver and Miami on road vs. San Diego and Pittsburgh at home), it hasn't been a disparity in opposition as much as effort and execution.

That leads to the next point. Darren McFadden's second foray into the zone-blocking scheme has been a bust. Greg Knapp would be best served to swallow his pride and insert some power-running packages to play to his offense's strengths. But don't hold your breath on that happening. So the line has to improve the ability to create creases, or a healthy McFadden will be wasted.

Before I get too far ahead of myself, I gave out five grades: offense, defense, special teams, coaching and discipline. Let's start with the offense.

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