Raiders vs. Bengals: Final Report Card, Player Grades for Oakland

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistNovember 25, 2012

Raiders vs. Bengals: Final Report Card, Player Grades for Oakland

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    The Oakland Raiders took on the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium in NFL Week 12 action, and were simply embarrassed by the Bengals, 34-10. 

    Carson Palmer's return to Cincinnati didn't exactly go as planned. The loss moves the Raiders to 3-8 and essentially dooms the season. While not everything was bad for the Raiders, it's hard to find the silver lining here. 

    Let examine the Raiders final postgame grades and analysis after another disappointing loss. 


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    Carson Palmer was ineffective throughout the course of the game, as he failed to orchestrate any resemblance of an NFL offense. 

    Palmer had issues dealing with pressure and making the correct reads. He threw for just 146 yards and one touchdown to go along with an interception that was deflected. Palmer also lost a fumble. 

    It doesn't help that his offensive line wasn't doing him any favors, but Palmer appeared flustered throughout his return to Cincinnati. 

Running Backs

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    The running back position was actually a bright spot for the Raiders Sunday in Cincinnati thanks to the versatile Marcel Reece.

    Reece carried the ball 15 times for 74 yards and clearly flustered the Bengals defense at times. He’s a tough player to prepare for, and that was obvious as Cincinnati had issues stopping him.

    Jeremy Stewart was the other back to receiver touches, but he only mustered 26 yards on seven carries. Darren McFadden and Co. cannot get healthy fast enough.

Wide Receivers

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    It was a tough day for Oakland receivers.

    Actually, that’s an understatement.

    The top three receivers for the Raiders were two running backs and a tight end. Marcel Reece, Jeremy Stewart and Brandon Myers had more receptions and yards than any receiver on the roster.

    Denarius Moore hauled in one touchdown pass on a busted play by the Bengals defense, but other than that it was a laughably bad day for Oakland receivers as they simply couldn’t create separation or have an impact.

Tight Ends

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    The aforementioned Brandon Myers had a solid day, hauling in five passes for 37 yards. Outside of production, it was a horrible day for Oakland tight ends.

    Myers and other Raiders’ tight ends had a simple enough assignment—when asked to stay in and block, effectively protect Carson Palmer.

    That didn’t happen. 

    Myers and Co. were abused by the Bengals defensive front and allowed Palmer to be pressured for most of the game. 

Offensive Line

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    The offensive line for the Raiders was a joke against the Bengals. To be fair, the unit had to block the best defensive tackle in the NFL in Geno Atkins, along with talented rushers such as Carlos Dunlap.

    Still, that’s not an excuse for Palmer to be sacked multiple times. The pressure on Palmer was the main reason for the loss as he had no time to move through his progressions and find open men down the field.

    The line was also horrible in run-blocking, and appeared to simply not want it as much as the Bengals did on each and every play.

Defensive Line

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    The Raiders lost the battle in the trenches in a big way against the Bengals. The defensive line was mostly a no-show over the course of the game and the Raiders paid the ultimate price.

    Not only did the line struggle to generate pressure on Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, it allowed the struggling BenJarvus Green-Ellis to rush for 129 yards and a touchdown.

    The linebackers behind the line had to pick up the slack, but the defense as a whole failed to be effective with the line struggling so mightily. 


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    The linebackers were the bright spot for the Raiders defensively. Phillip Wheeler and Matt Shaughnessey recorded sacks, while Miles Burris racked up an impressive 13 tackles.

    Where the linebackers struggled was in pass coverage, as the Bengals routinely threw at them and converted. Burris and Co. were also gashed in the running game, which allowed the Bengals to slightly win the time of possession battle.

    It was a nice statistical day for the unit, but a brutal one on film. 

Defensive Backs

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    The defensive secondary for Oakland had a rough day to say the least. It was torched for three touchdowns and allowed Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton to throw for 210 yards and three touchdowns.

    Going into the game it was obvious the secondary needed to focus on elite receiver A.J. Green.

    It didn’t. Or couldn’t.

    Green went off for 111 yards, while Jermaine Gresham had 41 yards and a touchdown. Finally, rookie receiver Mohamed Sanu had a career day with five catches for 29 yards and two touchdowns.

    The secondary play for Oakland was ugly all around, and failed to slow down the Bengals’ aerial attack in any way whatsoever. 

Special Teams

9 of 10


    It wasn't a horrible day for the Raiders on the special teams side of things, but it wasn't a productive day either. 

    Shane Lechler continued proved why he is the best punter in the league and Sebastian Janikowski connected on a field goal, but other than that it was a quite outing. 

    While the kick coverage was solid, the returners for Oakland didn't exactly change the course of the game either. Unfortunately for Oakland, the special teams unit was the best one on the field for the Raiders Sunday. 


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    It's become clear that Dennis Allen is not the answer for the Oakland Raiders. He was out-coached by Marvin Lewis for the majority of the game and failed to make proper adjustments. 

    Allen and his staff appeared to fail to motivate the players to perform well, and worst of all failed to place them in a position to succeed. It's one thing to come out flat, it's another thing to seem like your team doesn't care altogether. 

    Allen's team seemed to be lacking in fundamentals all game, especially in regards to tackling. He failed to come up with and execute a solid gameplan, and for that he fails. 


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