Oakland Raiders: Winners and Losers at the Season's Quarter Mark

Kasey ScottAnalyst IOctober 4, 2011

Oakland Raiders: Winners and Losers at the Season's Quarter Mark

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    Following a decent 2-2 start, there are more than a few winners and losers for the Oakland Raiders at the quarter mark of the 2011 NFL season. 

    Considering the Raiders played two playoff teams from a year ago plus an up-and-coming Buffalo Bills team, then 2-2 is actually a pretty good start.

    Here are the winners and losers for the Raiders through the first four games. 

Loser: Nick Miller

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    Miller, a wide receiver, was the Raiders main return man for the first three weeks of the season. 

    In Week 4, Denarius Moore was in charge of returning punts, while Jacoby Ford and Taiwan Jones took on the duties of returning kicks. 

    Nick Miller was cut by the Raiders on Saturday and never gave the Raiders a threat as a return man. On the season, Miller returned four kicks for 61 yards. He also returned two punts for 19 yards. 

Winner: Denarius Moore

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    Moore has been by far the best receiver for the Raiders in 2011. He has 199 yards, a team high through the first four games. 

    Moore's 12 catches rank him second on the team, only behind Darren McFadden. Moore leads the team with two receiving touchdowns and 20 targets. 

    The fifth round pick in the 2011 NFL draft is turning out to be a steal while leading the Raiders receiving corp. 

Loser: DeMarcus Van Dyke

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    To Van Dyke's defense, he has been dealing with a knee injury for a majority of the first quarter of the season. 

    The Raiders took Van Dyke with their second pick in the third round of the 2011 NFL draft. 

    Van Dyke was drafted as added insurance after Nnamdi Asomugha left in free agency and he has yet to make an impact for the Raiders in 2011 with only one tackle on the season. 

Winner: Tyvon Branch

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    Tyvon Branch has been a beast for the Raiders in 2011 as he leads the team in tackles with 32 for the season. Branch's 32 tackles rank him tied for sixth among defensive backs in the NFL.

    Branch led the Raiders in tackles in 2010, but only recorded three pass deflections and an interception. He has already matched that total in 2011 with three pass deflections and an interception. 

    Branch also has a fumble recovery thus far and is an obvious staple in the Raiders defense. 

Loser: Chaz Schilens

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    Fourth year receiver Chaz Schilens is officially an afterthought in Oakland. Some people thought, me included, that Chaz Schilens had great potential. 

    Schilens may still have great potential, but he has fallen behind Darrius Heyward-Bey, Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore on the depth chart. 

    With Derek Hagan out-producing Schilens, Schilens will see little to no playing time going down the road. Schilens only has five catches for 40 yards on the season. 

Winner: Darren McFadden

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    Darren McFadden is by far the most obvious winner on the Raiders at the quarter mark. 

    After the first four weeks of the season, Darren McFadden leads the NFL with 468 rushing yards. That's 77 more rushing yards than anyone else in the league. 

    McFadden has also added 15 catches, a team high, for 164 yards. He has recorded three total touchdowns with only one fumble. 

    If the Raiders are going to make the playoffs, it will be on the back of Darren McFadden.