The final quarter of the season is about to start for the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders are still alive in the playoff race with four games to go.
In the third quarter of the season, the Raiders finished with a 2-2 record. They beat the Chiefs and the Chargers and lost to the Steelers and Dolphins.
There were many players that did very well in the third quarter and some that disappointed. Let's take a look at 10 Oakland Raider players and see how they graded out in the third quarter of the season.
Jacoby Ford had his coming out party during the third quarter of the season. It was filled with impressive and clutch receptions, two touchdown passes caught and two kickoff returns for touchdowns.
During that stretch he averaged 78 yards per game. More importantly, he made plays that either kept the Raiders in the game or set them up to win the game.
Jacoby gets the highest grade for the Raiders in the third quarter of the season.
Darren McFadden entered the third quarter of the season as one of the league's best running backs. He averaged over 100 yards per game prior to the last four games of the season.
His numbers went down after two games where he didn't rush for more 20 yards combined. He has yet to break the 100 yard mark since the Raiders beat the Seahawks.
He finally got his groove back against the Chargers last week, but he and Michael Bush need to run the ball better if the Raiders want to win games.
Jason Campbell started three of the four games during the third quarter of the season. He had a 2-1 record. He had a game to forget against the Steelers, but so did the whole team.
He went 2-0 against division rivals in the Chiefs and the Chargers.
He threw two touchdowns and threw two interceptions. He had his best game of the quarter against the Chargers.
He made plays with his legs, got crucial first downs and even scored on a great play fake.
If he continues to play like this in the last four game the Raiders will stay in the playoff conversation.
Darrius Heyward-Bey played in three of the four games during the last quarter of play. The former first round pick has not been a part of the offense.
During that stretch he has two rushes for 16 yards and no catches. The Raiders need to find a way to get him more involved in the offense.
Last year it was drops. This year he hasn't been targeted consistently enough during the season.
He runs a lot of deep routes and the line isn't strong enough to hold on long enough to get the ball out. So Campbell has to check down a lot. That could be part of the problem
The offensive line's performance dropped a bit during the third quarter. They struggled against the big physical teams like the Dolphins and Steelers.
This is troubling because a lot of the teams that will make the playoffs this year are big and physical.
Until the last game against the Chargers, the Raiders struggled in the running game. They need to pick it up in the fourth quarter.
The good news for them is that most of the teams they play struggle against the run. This could be great for offensive line and the Raiders.
You are starting to see Rolando McClain mature into a man. He missed most of the Chiefs game with an injury, but has played very well in the games after that.
He has either led the team in tackles or had the second most during the last three games.
He got his first career interception against the Dolphins and had a brutal hit on Darren Sproles that knocked him out of the game.
McClain is becoming a force the middle of the defense.
Richard Seymour is one of the biggest reasons the Raiders are relevant again. If one player on this roster has "Raider" written all over him, it's Seymour.
He brings that old school nastiness to the Raiders defense. If he isn't sacking your quarterback, he may be punching him in the face.
Every player on the Raiders defensive line has five sacks or more. It's hard to choose who you want to double team.
Seymour has been a great example for the young players and is a great leader to the team.
Mike Mitchell is starting to find himself on the field a lot more for the Raiders. He is an aggressive player that loves to hit people.
While his numbers haven't been out of this world, his presence on the field is being felt.
He gets tackles for losses against the run, and does a good job in pass coverage.
There was a mistake against the Chargers where he got picked by Rolando McClain and left Antonio Gates open, but other than that his play has been solid.
The energy he brings to the field is second to none.
Michael Huff has been solid for the Raiders in the third quarter. It's hard to argue that he may have been the Raiders best defensive player during that stretch.
He's been all over the field. He is shutting down receivers playing safety and some corner. He is sacking the quarterback and forcing turnovers.
Huff has three sacks in four games, one interception and one forced fumble.
He seems to get better every year.
This is the same story every year. It's not the players fault, its just the way it is. When you work on the opposite side of Nnamdi Asomugha, you are going to get thrown at.
Whether it's been Chris Johnson, Stanford Routt or Walter McFadden it hasn't been pretty.
Even with Asomugha hurt they've still been attacking the opposite side. The Raiders need to find a way to stop that problem right away.
In the final quarter of the season they play teams that know how to pass the ball.
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