Eagles vs. Raiders: Full Roster Report Card Grades for Oakland
Just when it looked like the Oakland Raiders were a pretty good read, they went out and completely flipped the script in a Week 9 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. About the only thing that’s certain is that Dennis Allen’s team has a whole lot of improving to do at 3-5.
The Raiders put together some impressive numbers on offense: 92 plays, 560 yards, 29 first downs and nearly 38 minutes in time of possession.
Then there was the uglier side of things. Oakland’s defense gave up seven touchdown passes and allowed Eagles quarterback Nick Foles to do things only Hall of Famers should be able to pull off.
It all added up to a 49-20 loss for the Raiders that was every bit as bad as it looked.
Here are the Raiders’ full roster report card grades from their loss to the Eagles.
Terrelle Pryor passed for a career-high 288 yards and added another 94 yards rushing, but his numbers were deceiving. Pryor rarely had time to throw, and even when he did, he frequently pulled the ball down and took off scrambling if the first read wasn’t open.
What success he had passing often came on passes where he floated the ball and threw off his back foot. All things considered, Pryor was fortunate to have just two interceptions.
To be fair, one of his interceptions wasn’t entirely his fault. It bounced off the chest of a receiver and into the arms of an Eagles defender.
Matt McGloin made his NFL debut and threw a few nice passes in mop-up duty. He also led Oakland's offense on a touchdown drive, which was encouraging for the rookie.
Oakland’s ground game had no life to it whatsoever until Darren McFadden limped off the field with a hamstring injury. McFadden got hurt on his longest carry of the day, a run that netted five yards. Beyond that, he had seven yards on four carries.
Rashad Jennings provided a big boost in coming off the bench. The Raiders’ jack-of-all-trades smashed his way to the third-best rushing day of his career and added a team-high seven receptions. Most impressive was that Jennings averaged nearly seven yards a carry. McFadden has struggled all season to get much more than two yards a pop.
Fullback Marcel Reece might have been able to do some damage as a wide receiver, but had just two passes thrown his way.
It wasn’t an easy afternoon to be a receiver for Oakland on day when quarterback Terrelle Pryor was scrambling around in the backfield while trying to buy additional time. Still, Denarius Moore and Rod Streater both nearly topped 100 yards in receptions.
Streater made the Raiders’ best offensive play when he took a short pass from Pryor and weaved his way downfield through traffic for a 66-yard gain. Perhaps the best thing about that play was the downfield blocking of Juron Criner, who made his season debut. Criner locked onto the defensive back and drove him backward as if there were a steering wheel on his chest.
Criner actually had a decent day receiving after moving up the depth chart, thanks to Brice Butler’s problems with holding onto the ball. He was far more effective than Jacoby Ford, whose lack of impact on the offense continues to be confounding.
There really isn’t much room in the passing game for Oakland’s tight ends, simply because of all the protection issues with the offensive line.
That has been a big setback for quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who could really use a safety net receiver like the Raiders tight ends have historically been over the past several seasons.
Instead, Juron Mastrud and Mychael Rivera spent most of their time as extra blockers trying to keep Pryor upright. Rivera did catch four passes for 36 yards, but none of them were impact plays.
There was a Nick Kasa sighting, as the rookie who the team was so high on in training camp did get a pass thrown his way. Like most things for the Raiders on Sunday, however, the ball was off target.
While Terrelle Pryor was guilty of bailing out of the pocket prematurely at times, Oakland’s front five didn’t provide complete stability with the pass protection. Pryor was under a good deal of pressure much of the afternoon and rarely got a chance to set his feet.
The run-blocking appeared to pick up once Rashad Jennings started carrying the ball, but the increase in production was as much about the running back as it was the offensive line. Philadelphia also managed three sacks and likely would have had more had Pryor not ran out of numerous dicey situations.
The good news was that second-round pick Menelik Watson held up OK after being pressed into duty at right tackle after Matt McCants suffered a foot injury. Watson wasn’t as sharp as he had been in training camp, but he held his own and got some much-needed playing time, which will help him in the long run.
The Raiders had had so much success against the Pittsburgh Steelers without blitzing that they decided to try a similar approach against the Eagles. It failed, and so did the pass rush.
Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles had so much time to pass that he could have read a few chapters of War and Peace while standing in the pocket. Oakland’s defense rarely laid a hand on him, let alone got near enough for a sack.
Defensive end Lamarr Houston made just one noteworthy play, but was otherwise shut down, as was Jason Hunter. The starting interior tandem of Pat Sims and Vance Walker combined for just one tackle.
Oakland’s strength all season has been its run defense, but that certainly wasn’t the case against Philadelphia, which maintained a steady presence on the ground most of the afternoon.
The Eagles didn’t have any particular back do anything special, but what they did was repeatedly pound away at the Raiders defense to keep the chains moving.
Nick Roach had one of the Raiders' two sacks. He also made a nice play to force Eagles running back LeSean McCoy to cut back toward the middle on a run he eventually took a three-yard loss on. Kevin Burnett added three tackles for losses, but was also called for a personal foul penalty in the second half.
Rookie Sio Moore was not much of a factor, either. He didn’t blitz as frequently as he had in the past and couldn’t get past the blockers when he did.
The Raiders will never forget Nick Foles, and for good reason. The Eagles quarterback exploited every weakness in Oakland's secondary and repeatedly gouged its defensive backs for huge gains.
Rookie D.J. Hayden had a particularly tough time and allowed two touchdowns. He wasn’t alone, however.
Oakland had all sorts of problems when it dropped into zone coverages, and its corners didn’t have much luck at all in man-to-man. Riley Cooper and DeSean Jackson combined for 10 catches, three touchdowns and nearly 300 yards.
When it goes as bad as this one did, everyone has to shoulder the blame.
Like Oakland's cornerbacks, Charles Woodson and Brandian Ross were stymied by an Eagles passing offense that could seemingly do no wrong. Time and time again, Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles found gaping holes in coverages and made Oakland pay every time.
Woodson had a tough day in trying to keep up. He was beaten for a 19-yard gain on a 3rd-and-13 play, then later missed a diving shoulder-tackle attempt that opened the door for a 32-yard run by the Eagles.
Ross seemed to be the culprit on a few of the blown zone coverages, when Oakland’s cornerbacks expected help over the top, but got none.
All in all, it was about as bad as a secondary can play.
Sebastian Janikowski made both of his field-goal attempts, including a 53-yarder that sailed past the uprights and might have been good from 63 yards. That was about the extent of the good news for Oakland’s special teams.
Punter Marquette King averaged 45 yards, but wasn’t able to pin the Eagles back. He landed only one punt inside the 20-yard line and needed to make a tackle to stop a big return in the second quarter.
The Raiders used two punt returners at the same time, but neither ever got a hand on the ball. Jeremy Stewart and Taiwan Jones were only marginally effective on kickoff returns.