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McDonald grades Raiders off Chargers game

Beat writer Jerry McDonald doled out his grades for the Raiders off their performance against the San Diego Chargers in a 27-17 victory Sunday night. Here are McDonald’s grades and analysis:

Passing offense: Terrelle Pryor’s passer rating of 135.7 was the highest for a Raiders quarterback since Rich Gannon had a 138.9 in Week 3 against Tennessee in his 2002 MVP season. Pryor completed his first 10 passes, guided the Raiders to leads of 17-7 an 24-3 and was 18 of 23 for 221 yards and two touchdowns. Put a dagger in San Diego’s comeback with a third-and-14 strike to Brice Butler for 20 yards that set up a field goal and a 10-point fourth-quarter lead. Receivers were sure-handed. Denarius Moore had five catches for 84 yards and a touchdown. Passing game stalled in third quarter.

Grade: B-plus

Rushing offense: Rashad Jennings provided steady gains with 41 yards on 10 carries before leaving with a hamstring strain. Marcel Reece had seven carries for 32 yards playing on a knee strain. Pryor had 11 carries for 31 yards with some nice scrambles but also got trapped for losses. Considering the makeshift offensive line — which held up well — the overall performance was better than expected.

Grade: C-plus

Pass defense: Who said a prevent defense never works? (Note: Not a coach in the league calls it a prevent. It’s called playing ‘coverage’). The Raiders sat on their lead by letting Philip Rivers attack with short throws, allowing him only once (a 51-yard pass to Vincent Brown) to get over the top. Rivers was 36-for-49 for 411 yards, but the Raiders had their first three interceptions of the season (Usama Young, D.J. Hayden, Charles Woodson), the last one putting the game away. Brown (eight receptions in nine targets, 117 yards) killed the Raiders all night.

Grade: B

Rush defense: San Diego had just 19 yards on 32 carries with no gain longer than five yards. Danny Woodhead had 9 yards on 13 carries, Ronnie Brown 11 yards on seven carries and Ryan Mathews eight yards on three carries before leaving with a concussion. Kevin Burnett (14 tackles) forced a Woodhead fumble that Woodson returned 25 yards for a touchdown. Only three of 27 first downs came on the ground.

Grade: A

Special teams: Marquette King punted six times for a 49.5 yard average and a 42.7 net with a long of 64 yards. One of his highest kicks was muffed by Eddie Royal, with Chimdi Chekwa recovering and Sebastian Janikowski converting a 49-yard field goal for a 17-0 lead. Janikowski recovered from a mini-slump with 49- and 50-yard field goals, the latter which iced the game and came off the infield dirt. Nothing special on returns for either team.

Grade: B

Coaching: The game plan of offensive coordinator Greg Olson had the Chargers on their heels to start, first by dialing up a 44-yard first-play touchdown to Rod Streater after a turnover and then a methodical 13-play, 88-yard touchdown drive where Pryor was 7-for-7 — one of the best Raiders scoring drives in recent memory. Maddening as it was to see all those passing yards by Rivers, Jason Tarver’s strategy of playing loose and allowing underneath yards ultimately paid dividends with three interceptions. Coach Dennis Allen had a team ravaged by injury, particularly on the offensive line, prepared to play and win.

Grade: A

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Steve Corkran

  • spiff

    after 10 games we could be 7-3, worse case 6-4. it starts with with beating the kc chumps sunday.

  • lefty12

    AFC West=best division in football

  • Carl weathers

    All is good, busy with work and the family and tired as hell being up until 3am EST!!
    I pop in here every now and then and read the articles just not much time to comment

  • kenchun24

    I kind of liked the 6’5″ Stephen Williams that Seattle cut to add Bruce Irvin off of suspension. Made big plays in the preseason.

  • Carl weathers

    What do you wanna send me

  • Just Fire Baby

    I’ve been asking for the A’s to switch Balfour to decaf all year, not looking like it is going to happen.
    The best closers ever, Rivera, Lee Smith, never showed any emotion.
    Balfour is going to implode one day, hopefully for A’s fans it is in 2014 or later.

  • http://www.cosmicdanceband.com/ SilverandBlack666

    its all about wining until its one of their guys who doesn’t have a winning record then they use some other stat to justify their feeble argument

  • Raider_Riff

    a link to a raider forum.

  • loyal

    I hope DA realizes that TP is saving his job. Imagine flynn playing last night.=1-4 or maybe 0-6.

  • Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    This is an embarrassing moment for general manager Reggie McKenzie. The former Green Bay Packers
    staffer gave up a fifth-round draft pick in 2014 for Flynn and handed
    him more than $6 million for the 2013 season. McKenzie also drafted
    quarterback Tyler Wilson in the fourth round; Wilson didn’t make the
    team out of camp.

    FIRE REGGIE NOW.

  • Just Fire Baby

    The whole Freeman fiasco was another slight blight on McKenzie, IMO. No way that DA has the chutzpah to go over not only Reg’s head but also Mark and start flirting with FA’s on the phone.
    We should probably just keep Reggie away from future QB decisions. He has literally botched it at every turn.
    No coinkdink to me that he was a LB, and has immediately given our LB a massive, massive upgrade.
    You know what you know, and don’t know what you don’t know

  • Carl weathers

    For…

  • Raider_Riff

    touche.

  • RaiderCDE

    Raiders haven’t lost to the Queefs in arrowhead since 2006.

  • http://Raiders.com/ Dan78

    Big ups to the receivers last night….. These guys did not drop too many balls… Also to CWood, brought back memories of the big defensive turnovers that made the difference in the early 2000′s….

  • HGDaddy

    maybe they were just inquiring about Freeman to take over for Flynn? Freeman wanted to start so he said no?

  • Raider_Riff

    Leinart (Mark forcing TP to play)
    Flynnch
    Wilson
    VY (brought in to actually replace Pryor)
    Freeman

    Ya, it’s safe to say that Reggie has lost all QB related decision making credibility.

  • RaiderCDE

    DMAC needs to suck it up and play this weekend. And have a big game.

  • KoolKell

    Lol. Reggie did bring TP back this year.

  • AbusedByAl

    Excellent, enjoy your good fortunes!

  • http://Raiders.com/ Dan78

    Yes sir… Big Blue will close it out tonight and hopefully we get a step closer to the Golden State World Series….

  • http://Raiders.com/ Dan78

    Agreed 100%

  • Raider_Riff

    That is likely. But considering the track record, it makes benefit-of-the-doubt irrelevent.

    A legit source from within the org stated yesterday that the front office still wasnt sold on Pryor.

    The fact that it was known around the office in Alameda that Reggie felt Pryor was a gimmick or “toy” as it was put, is pretty alarming.

    Reggie has lost some respect around the building I would assume. I dont see how you dont after this.

  • kenchun24

    Hehe yup…

    Dodgers vs. A’s – “West Coast Is The Best Coast” series…

  • The Beeeeech Dawg

    High 5s, Brah. If you’re interested in adding length, weight and explosion power to your ding-a-ling, keep an eye out for my new yoga video series

    It’ll go into great detail on power yoga positions that will fulfill the wildest dreams of the strippers in your life

    DAWG POWER

  • Raider_Riff

    Reggie brought in VY to replace TP.

  • Raider_Riff

    raider forum.

  • inonewordraider

    Teddy bruschi “pryor can hav a better season than kaepernick”

  • http://Raiders.com/ Dan78

    Big Blue will close it tonight… See you at the Ravine…

  • Carl weathers
  • lefty12

    no he didn’t

  • Goldie7

    You must remember that P. Martian head Manning had stem cell therapy to help him recover from his surgeries, with that being said, I understand that he is a top tier QB.
    However, with stem cell treatment therapy, along with steroids to help rebuild his muscles has him playing better than ever.
    Also, the NFL does not test top QBs for steroids, they perform random tests on various players not top QBs or consistent pro bowlers. Think again if you think P. Manning, T. Brady, or D. Brees is tested for PEDs.

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    He’s starting now isn’t he?

  • inonewordraider

    Haha the beech is baaaack

  • Raider_Riff

    didnt work

    .ca or .com?

  • Just Fire Baby

    The NFL doesn’t even draw blood or test for HGH. They have the most lax drug-testing policy in all of sports.
    Hell, Aaron Hernandez was supposedly on angeldust and smoking weed everyday, and never even got caught into stage 1 of testing.

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    Get fuk’n lost moron.

  • AbusedByAl

    Basically agree with you! Reggie needed an intervention to give TP just a shot when the season was finished last year, and everthing Reggie touched so far with his QB dealings went nowhere very quickly.

    Just thinking that the alleged flirting DA did with Josh F. was more of like DA explaining to Josh that if he came to Oakland, he was not going to be the immediate starter and must be content to be a backup this season. Just thinking out loud here, cuz I think when they talked, the decision on axing that sorry MF clown of a QB was already taken and they were looking for a capable no. 3 QB just in case.. Now I read they are looking at David Carr as a backup alternative, and that may be an acceptable idea, depending on the terms of course.

  • inonewordraider

    Shoulda saved kersh for round 2, braves goin with freddy garcia

  • Raider_Riff

    Yep. I felt the same way. Hated the film on him.

    And I hated his chances behind our line.

  • SnBG

    It ‘s a credit to Reg and DA that Pryor was not traded and that they recognize Pryor and have made him the starter. Could you have imagined how it would have been if they had traded Pryor away. Good job keeping Pryor

  • HGDaddy

    sorry. I must’ve missed reading that report. was it a blog post from yesterday?

  • plunkhead

    It sure looks like our WR’s are jelling. That will open up Rivero for more big plays. Stopped another running game, woohoo!

  • Raider_Riff

    Yes he did. Check your sources.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Going into this year, TP had zero trade value.
    Had he, I am sure Reggie would have traded him.

  • Raiders for Life

    Hopefully Holmes can contribute right away. I’m looking forward to seeing him play.

  • RealTruRaider

    Yep, been a couple years

  • JLofty

    LOTS of great relievers were fiery. I’ll start with one of my personal favs: Dennis Eckersly….

  • The Beeeeech Dawg

    Yo CK is bringing the TRUE BLUE HAMMER to Chavez, tomahawk CHOP to the ‘lil injuns

  • SnBG

    Almost all of the coaches jobs are won and lost by players. If they can’t or don’t perform they can easily kill a coaches job.