Beat writer Jerry McDonald doled out grades for the Raiders based on their performance against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday in a 23-19 loss at the Coliseum:
It was a different Matt McGloin in the second half. He completed 11 of 15 passes for 155 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions for a passer rating of 128.5. His first half, which included an interception deep in his own territory that resulted in a Titans field goal, was 42.5. McGloin had four passes deflected by pass rushers in the first half. Rod Streater, with five receptions for 93 yards, was the most reliable wide out. McGloin correctly found Marcel Reece (covered by a linebacker) for a 27-yard touchdown pass which put the Raiders ahead.
Rashad Jennings had 10 rushes for 55 yards in the first half, but got dinged in the second half, finishing with 16 carries for 73 yards. Reece got 14 yards on five carries and McGloin had a key scramble for a first down. Raiders finished with 93 yards on 23 carries with a long of 15 yards. Got steady yards for the most part, but never had the big breakaway run which would make it an exceptional rushing game.
In a game like this, it’s an “A” or “F” scenario. Once the Raiders scored with 6:10 left and were up 23-19, it was up to the defense — most specifically the pass defense — to put the game in the win column. Instead, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick sliced the Raiders to ribbons on third down and finished the game 30 of 42 for 320 yards and two touchdowns, including a brutal 54-yard touchdown pass to Justin Hunter where Brandian Ross and Phillip Adams wound up on the wrong side of the highlights.
Chris Johnson got 73 yards on 20 carries and Shonn Green 15 yards on four carries, with the two primary ball carriers averaging less than 4 yards per carry. Fitzpatrick managed 26 yards on five scrambles. The Raiders have consistently shown the ability to get multiple players to the ball. Whenever one player misses a tackle, one or more players are there to follow up.
Sebastian Janikowski missed from 32 and 48 yards out, while converting four kicks, including one from 52 yards. He also made a 48-yarder which was a low line drive that somehow made it in. It’s been a bad year for Janikowski, with seven misses after missing just seven kicks in the last two years. Taiwan Jones, one of the NFL’s top gunners, continues to do well on kick returns (26.7 average vs. Titans). Jacoby Ford is struggling on punt returns. Marquette King punted only twice for a 47.5 average.
The best coaching for the Raiders came at halftime, when adjustments were made which turned McGloin from a struggling rookie into a quarterback who looked like a confident veteran. Defensively, the Raiders were never able to rattle Fitzpatrick, considered for the most part a career backup. Allen admitted that on the game-winning 10-yard touchdown pass from Fitzpatrick to Kendall Wright, there probably should have been more pressure other than a three-man rush.