Grading the Raiders off Panthers game


Beat writer Jerry McDonald graded the Raiders off their 17-6 loss to the Carolina Panthers. Here are McDonald’s grades and comments:

Pass offense

Downfield passing was non-existent as Matt Leinart needed 16 completions (in 32 attempts) to gain 115 yards with no gain longer than 20. Terrelle Pryor’s 22-yard reception from Carson Palmer on a trick play screen was the longest pass play of the game. Leinart’s interception to Luke Kuechly near the end of the first half led to Carolina’s second touchdown.

Grade: D-minus

Rush offense

So much for the Raiders’ resurgent run game. A recent run of average to above-average performances gave way to 47 yards on 22 carries. Running back Darren McFadden (33 yards, 17 carries) had one 13-yard gain and the lone rushing first down. Other than that, he was running head-on into tackles, gaining 20 yards on 16 caries.

Grade: F

Pass defense

Even with starters Tyvon Branch (foot) and Phillip Adams (groin) out, the Raiders held Cam Newton reasonably in check. He was 18-for-29 for 170 yards, and grew frustrated by getting hit by a decent pass rush. Linebacker Miles Burris had an interception off a Philip Wheeler deflection. The Raiders offense failed to cash in with points.

Grade: B

Rush defense

The Raiders were diligent at staying disciplined in the read option with regard to the quarterback run or the pitch. Newton had 60 yards on 12 carries (including three kneel downs) but the bulk of his yardage came on one 29-yard scramble. DeAngelo Williams, other than 14 yards on one option pitch, had 5 yards on 10 carries.
Grade: B

Special teams

Shane Lechler pinned the Panthers inside the 20-yard line four times. Chimdi Chekwa forced a fumble on a punt return, recovered by Richard Gordon, but the offense could not convert into a touchdown. An “A” effort other than doing no damage in the return game. The Raiders’ coverage units didn’t allow Carolina to do any damage with their returns, however.

Grade: B-plus


Offensive coordinator Greg Knapp had to adjust quickly when Carson Palmer was knocked out of the game. Whatever adjustments were made failed. Coach Dennis Allen opted to go for a first down on fourth-and-4 deep in Carolina territory with 5:09 to go, treating it as a one-score game even though his kicker is Sebastian Janikowski. Leinart threw incomplete. Defensive plan and execution was solid.

Grade: D-plus


Steve Corkran

  • Purvisman/Intrepid// Full Disclosure

    GG Says:
    Pryor – Lechler 1-2 and both getting extended action at QB.

    Making an assumption there.

  • Just Fire Baby

    There is a chance Seabass misses the FG anyway and the whole thing is moot.

    Too many things that needed to go right to kick the FG. That was our chance.

  • beach

    Mark Davis is not his father. He will give Gruden the keys to the shop. Mark Davis understands marketing, and that you need a great Head Coach and a very good QB to win a Super Bowl. We need much help in other areas, too. All I want for New Year’s is Jon Gruden. Merry Christmas everyone!

  • beach

    173. Exactly, the A’s are our only hope for a World Championship in 2013. 1989 is so very, very long ago!

  • Turf toe

    “Lechler takes the ball, drops back, looks…still looking…and fires a pass to a wide open Janikowski in the endzone! TOUCHDOWN, RRRRRRAAAAAIDERRRRS!”

  • RaiderSam
  • Turf toe


  • Purvisman/Intrepid// Full Disclosure Says:
    December 24th, 2012 at 2:25 pm
    GG Says:
    Pryor – Lechler 1-2 and both getting extended action at QB.

    Making an assumption there.


    Yeah, given that choice I’d go Lechler 1, Pryor about 6th.

    I think we need to see what McClain can do under center first. I mean, he was a 1st round draft pick right? He’s a freak combination of size and speed. Gotta see what we got, right?

  • DKnight007 Says:
    December 24th, 2012 at 2:17 pm
    Eastoaklandraider Says:
    December 24th, 2012 at 1:37 pm
    Just Fire Baby Says:
    December 24th, 2012 at 1:20 pm
    TP should be getting more reps, no doubt.

    But you can’t just start him and give him a bunch of drives if he isn’t earning it in practice.

    Thats just it, I dont trust these coaches, and they arent even using Pryor the correct way. Do they see how Wilson, Kappy, RGIII,or Cam is used? Bring in some of that college O an give the kid a shot with it. Even Tebow did ok with it last year.


    None of you all seem to be getting it. Papa just essentially said the guy is a bloomin’ idiot and can’t get the plays right in practice. That’s not about reps with the 1st string. It’s saying that he can’t process all of the information fast enough and then screws up things like which drop to take, let alone trying to spot the right matchups.

    The difference between Pryor and all the QBs mentioned above is that they are all smart enough to play NFL QB. They all Wonderlic’s in the 20’s (Kaep had a 35!). Pryor had a frickin’ 7. All the speed in the world can’t overcome that as a QB.

    And don’t even get me started on what Pryor said about knowing all the plays. He’s too dumb to realize that he doesn’t actually know them! Show me an example of any backup player in any sport that had been with the team for a decent amount of time and pronounced themselves not ready yet in terms on knowing the system. Go ahead, I’m waiting … OK, you failed. Now understand that every backup out there is usually quick to proclaim how ready they are to be the starter, because that is the nature of pro sports.

  • WenzhouRaider

    Wanted to run this by anybody who cares.

    With J.Jones and Star Lotulelei as the top D prospects next april. Where would our current quality defensive players fit in a 34 alignment?

    I realize DA wants to mix it up back and forth, but wanted to see where people thought: Miles Burris, Phil Wheeler, Houston, Bryant, and Shaughnessy fit in a 34.

    Shaughnessy and Houston seem good at 5Tech

    Burris AND Wheeler in the middle?

    If Star, then who at OLB?

    If J.Jones, then who at NT?

  • rodn5yn

    Seems better to stay in a 4-3 and take Bjoern Werner at DE, and Shayne Skov at MLB. Watching film, none of the projected higher draftees get off blocks as well as these two guys, and they can thump.

  • rodn5yn

    Though I’d rather take CJ Mosley at MIKE, he’s staying at Bama another year.

  • rodn5yn

    209. Zymurge Says:
    December 24th, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    The point is, if Pryor isn’t the guy, and the staff knows it, then why is he still here?

  • rodn5yn

    148.GG Says:
    December 24th, 2012 at 1:37 pm
    David Ausberry’s situation is a mystery. He’s like Reece used to be, a playmaker being ignored and not played by the coaching staff.

    It’s like he’s being punished or something. When every time the ball has come his way, he’s made an extraordinary play.

  • rodn5yn
  • rodn5yn
  • rodn5yn

    Charlie Says:
    December 24th, 2012 at 1:00 pm
    The point I keep trying to make is that coaching “success” or progress has far more to do with on the field talent as opposed to scheme, motivation or in game adjustments and play calls.

    The examples I have showed you are proven “winners” who started off poorly TILL THEY GOT BETTER TALENT.

    I am not saying for a minute that DA reminds me of Gruden or Madden or Bilichick or Shanahan.

    What I am saying is that our talent level is far lower than many of you care to accept. Compound that with key injuries and you have a recipe for disaster. Hue corrected his one big injury by taking away key draft picks. Do you think we would have been 8-8 with Bollar? He also had Bush to cover for Dmac. With all the cap issues we could not afford Bush. All Hue did was mortgage our future a bit more than Mr Davis did.
    That is why no experinced HC would come near this place and it is why DA has a 4 year deal.
    This is a 3-5 year project.

    With an 8-8 team being $20 million over the cap and no first or second round picks how would we get better in one year?

    So do you think this team would be 4-11 with any of the top 10 coaching staffs in the league.

    I see progress with the defense (Tarver). The others not so much.