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McDonald grades Raiders off Chargers game

Beat writer Jerry McDonald graded the Raiders based on their performance against the San Diego Chargers in a 26-13 loss. Here are McDonald’s grades and critiques:

Passing offense
Matt McGloin completed 20 of 36 passes for 206 yards with no touchdowns and an extremely costly interception — a ball he couldn’t get over safety Eric Weddle that came after the Raiders had secured an interception of their own. It led to a Chargers field goal. San Diego bottled up Rod Streater (1 catch, 2 yards) and McGloin had his most success going to Andre Holmes (five receptions, 71 yards). McGloin did not get downfield to the extent he has in past games.
Grade: C-minus

Rushing offense
Rashad Jennings had 45 yards in 10 carries with a long gain of nine yards. Darren McFadden had four carries, eight yards and did a nice job on a 5-yard touchdown run. In the end, the Raiders were a subpar 3.5 yards per carry and weren’t nearly the operators on the ground as they have been in many games this season. The Raiders had only three rushing first downs, their lowest total since getting three on Sept. 29 against Washington.
Grade: D

Pass defense
Mike Jenkins had an interception off Philip Rivers, who mostly played it safe with 19 completions in 29 attempts for 201 yards and a 4-yard touchdown pass to Keenan Allen. There were defensive holding penalties on Jenkins, Chimdi Chekwa and Tracy Porter. The Raiders were vulnerable on third-down throws, as has been the case the last five games. The pass rush was non-existent, with Jason Hunter getting the lone sack on Rivers. The Raiders at least forced Nick Novak to kick four field goals.
Grade: C-minus

Rush defense
San Diego stayed stubborn with the run even when the passing game looked open and although the Raiders were able to make some stops for losses, San Diego ended with 37 rushes for 148 yards. Ryan Mathews had 99 yards in 25 carries with a long gain of 34 and a 7-yard touchdown run. Danny Woodhead got more consistent yardage in terms of yards per carry with eight carries for 52 yards. San Diego had seven rushing first downs.
Grade: C-minus

Special teams
Greg Jenkins, who replaced Taiwan Jones (who replaced Jacoby Ford as kickoff returner), lost a kickoff that led to a San Diego field goal. Marquette King hammered the ball high and deep all day long, with a spectacular 54.7 gross and a 47.2 net, although Allen did get loose for a 28-yard punt return. Sebastian Janikowski converted both field-goal attempts from 20 and 42 yards and the Chargers did no damage on kickoff returns.
Grade: C-plus

Coaching
The Raiders can’t be faulted for their effort, but whether it’s because of the uncertainty surrounding what happens in the offseason, players who are trying too hard or too much youth, they’re simply not capable of doing what it takes to win a game. A third-and-1 deep pass attempt to fullback Jamize Olawale resulted in an incomplete pass and a punt. The Raiders struggled to run but there were no plays for Terrelle Pryor, who has jump-started the running game as a reserve. Too many penalties — a season-high 12 for 64 yards.
Grade: D-plus

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  • TrevJo

    Those that have already given up on Allen won’t want to hear it, but to me here are the three reasons to extend him:
    1. If the Raiders ever want to be appealing to a big-time head coach, Mark Davis has to demonstrate that he won’t throw away coaches at the drop of a hat. From ’94 to ’11 Al went through 10 head coaches in 17 years. Think about that! Imagine taking a job thinking the odds are you will be fired in less than 2 years. The Raiders have been the most unstable franchise in the NFL.
    2. The roster was utterly devoid of talent both in 2012 and 2013. I don’t care what our record was in 2011, that was a completely different roster. There’s no denying the math of dead money on our salary cap, and everyone outside the Raiders organization knows (and knew going into the season) that this is one of the worst 3 or 4 rosters in the NFL.
    3. Say what you will about Dennis Allen, the man is 41 years old and was never a head coach before he came to Oakland. A lot of the most successful head coaches in the NFL struggled their first time out… including Bill Belichick and Pete Carroll. I’m not saying this proves Allen will eventually be a great head coach but there is a lot to learn.

    #1 by itself is enough reason not to make a change. Perception is reality, it’s time to change our perception.
    #2 by itself also is a good enough reason by itself, in my opinion, although I understand the argument that the team seems to be regressing late in the season.
    #1 and #2 together are an overwhelming argument in favor of giving Allen one more year in my opinion

  • Chino

    @VicTafur: “@timkawakami: Raiders’ point-differential: Minus-111, 4th worst in the NFL. Last year, minus-153 for the season, 4th-worst.” >> progress
    Ha!

  • Chino

    Why would you want to stay at oak for more than two years anyways

  • Raider-Fan-inKC

    Exactly, I don’t think Allen is the long term answer but firing coaches one after another is only going to attract flavor of the month coaching assistants and inexperienced coaches

  • TrevJo

    Perhaps you wouldn’t. But a coach would rather go out on his own terms (i.e. Gruden asking for a trade) rather than get fired from a team that couldn’t even make the playoffs BEFORE you arrived.

  • marks hair

    worst head coach GM combination in the league..

  • Chino

    That would belong to the jags

  • Chino

    Could be worse. Mark could have made hue the gm.

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    the writing is on the wall and allen is toast in oakland

    he has been exposed for lies :”i didnt know about pryor’s knee” ‘we want to evaluate pryor and macgloin down the stretch”, “the situation to play pryor didnt present itself”

    he went over big macs head and tried to strong arm davis into extending his hand picked assistants and was laughed out of the building in true davis family fashion ( some where senior was also in tears of laughter)

    He sat the qb that won 3 games and had the raider gaining positive press as the over achieving cash strapped scrappers, and has crashed and burned with his hand picked qb macgloin. the team is 1-5 with macgloin and allen seems cluless on the qb situation first inserting Pryor at odd times then completely abandoning him. His decision to play with macgloin through his struggles while not doing the same for pryor who won for him seems driven by some factor that cant be explained with sound football logic, and looks worse with every loss.

    allen seems incapable of admitting he was wrong for snatching the team and rug form under pryor to begin with and fears playing pryor in a lame attempt to shield himself from embarrassment

    his defense has given up nearly more points and td passes than any raider team in the history of the franchise

    If big mac is smart he also will not lobby to keep allen who undermined his authority going directly to davis on behalf of his maligned staff. Big mac should not tie his own job security to a foolish bet that allen will improve enough to reward the risk.

    Big mac should cut bait and try with a new coach and not repeat the same mistake sticking with allen that allen made sticking with macgloin

    the best gms and coaches admit mistakes quickly and take action to correct the errors.

    Allens ego will not allow this and big mac’s next move will be very very telling

  • Tyrone Wheatley

    I agree.

    But besides having a crappy roster, what gives you confidence DA would be the man to go with with a better roster?

    Is he creative on offense? Is he good with defense?
    Can he develop a QB?

    Was he ever these things? What makes you think he will?

  • severeraiderz

    Lane Kiffin won 4 games his first year, Tom Cable won 5, Hue won 8. Many thought that they deserved to be fired so why does DA get a pass? Who’s to say that Billy B and Carroll getting fired aren’t what they needed to have success in their second jobs?

  • Chino

    Admit mistakes ? Such as cutting his own guy in matt Flynn and benching Pryor ? Wow looks like we have the best of the best

  • TrevJo

    I can’t vouch for Allen’s performance nor can I criticize it given the circumstances. He’s made some dopey mistakes such as the Goethel blunder last year but that is part of the HC learning process. Despite the vocal contingent of Pryor apologists I think he handled the QB situation well (RM is a different story). All in all I would give him an Incomplete grade for the last 2 years rather than a pass or fail.

    That’s why I think #1 is the most important point, we need to keep him simply to prove that we will give a coaching staff a real opportunity to prove themselves. Right now there’s no reason for an outsider to believe that an owner named Davis values the stability that this business requires.

  • Tyrone Wheatley

    Take a look at the Eagles.

    That’s what a good coach does with a once shoddy team.

    Take a look at what a bad coach (Gregg Knapp) does with a once top ten offense the season before.

    Guys….DA is not the man. He’s shown nothing for us to entrust such an important offseason for the raiders.

  • Raider-Fan-inKC

    I wouldn’t call it a pass. It was Al’s decision to fire coaches. Personally I would have wanted Cable and Hue to stay. But that boat is long gone

  • Raideraholic

    My Mom wouldn’t be proud of that report card!

  • https://twitter.com/MimiPeepeechimi Just Fire Baby

    One thing that seems to go unnoticed about Matt.
    This is a guy who had a WR kick his azz in practice at PSU. Then gave a weird press conference afterwards deflacting blame. Then in games when he was supposedly told they were going with Pryor for a series or two in advance, went all pouty face on the sidelines. Then his on field demeanor seems to want to yell and slam the ground and get mad at everybody all the time.
    I think he is kind of dikhead actually.

  • Tyrone Wheatley

    I see your point. I just think this offseason is HUGE.

    And I can’t ride with DA. I’ve seen him talk and I don’t think he’s creative or inspiring. I get a feeling he’s rigid and stubborn.

    I think these guys came in (RM and DA) with pre-conceived notions of what the raiders were. They had to clean it up. Clean up the culture (which indeed they had to)

    But I don’t think a clean-up man leads you eventually to greatness.

    I take a look at all the great coaches in the league and see nothing in DA that reflects that.

    I feel like the decisions we make this offseason are going to have HUGE ramifications for years to come. We need a better leader for it.

  • https://twitter.com/MimiPeepeechimi Just Fire Baby

    You can add QB and make it a killer trifecta!!!

  • TrevJo

    I didn’t think any of those coaches should have been fired as early as they were. Doing so led to the undeniable perception of instability that we have now.
    In Hue’s case at least I understood it due to the new owner and new GM, and due to the huge mess Hue created with the Palmer trade.

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    I’ve been beginning to think that myself, I’ve noticed the same demeanor.
    Acts like Marino, without the credibility.

  • FourMoreYears

    You said it. We needed a coach and we hired a janitor.

  • Papertiger

    LOVIE SMITH could turn out a B-level performance if he started coaching this week!

    Do it, Reggie!

  • https://twitter.com/MimiPeepeechimi Just Fire Baby

    That’s the thing, he is an UDFA and is acting a tad entitled if you ask me.
    Like the “fire” but you got to kind of earn it a little before you look at Marcel Reece in disgust and shake your head at him.

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    Mark needs to hire a team President whether that is Anderson or Holmgren.

  • DKnight007

    DA is a waste of time, but unless Davis and McK can get a better EXPERIENCED head coach like a Gruden or David Shaw, than there is really is no point in making a change this year at least.

  • Papertiger

    It’s hard to blame him; his father is a florist. That’s normally the kind of upbringing reserved for future serial killers.

    Baby steps…so much better than Toddler Hands.

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    by the way now that he is in the Hall, how about Parcells for one more shot, come home to where it all started.

  • DKnight007

    The regression of this team is really disturbing though. You can tell the players tuned DA and his staff out after they blew Cowboy game. DA and Olsen made a bad decision keeping McGloin in there for this game. Should have started TP the last two games. McGloin has already had his fair share of chances.

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    Chucky knows how to take care of them, he toys with Freddie and Jason.

  • Raider-Fan-inKC

    Realistically, IF Allen was fired the only coaches who would want to come here would be recent big name coaches in college like Kevin Sumlin. The veteran coaches will ignore Oakland like the plague cause we they will basically have 2 years to get playoffs or get fired.

  • Papertiger

    Bravo, sir! You win the board for the day.

  • https://twitter.com/MimiPeepeechimi Just Fire Baby

    Once again, our return game is in shambles. Three guys we have tried to return kickoffs, all have fumbled and none are averaging the 24.5 yards Josh Cribbs is in New York.
    We HAVE TO get a guy who can return next season. It’s such a huge weapon for a young struggling offense.

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    Completely disagree. Every coach knows the Raiders are on a new course.

  • aig-raiders

    Nick Foles, a 3rd round pick threw 242 yds per game 6 tds and 5 ints in is rookie season through 7 games. This year through 10, he is at 2692 yds, 25 tds 2 picks. They should have dumped his rear end after his disastrous rookie season. He wasnt a first rounder to begin with…sarcasm.

    Seriously, yes you can find a good qb outside of the first round.

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    Cleveland had shot at #2 overall.

  • disqus_yeZNegncsV

    Sure, cuz like, Qbs are responsible for preventing the other team from scoring.
    Do you recall TPs woes in the Red Zone just last week or the week before? (WOW! We got pts as Tp dropped back, ran right, threw incomplete, dropped back, ran right, threw OB–same ole, same ole.)

  • TrevJo

    From a roster standpoint absolutely it’s crucial that we draft well and don’t make stupid decisions in free agency with the huge amount of money we have to spend.

    Don’t confuse that with the long-term ramifications of our head coach, though. To me, from a long-term viewpoint there are two problems with replacing Allen now:
    1. Who is going to take the job? The Raiders are only a slightly more appealing job now than they were in 2012, which is to say it is still a very unappealing job.
    2. Demonstrating some stability is more important for the long term than whatever amount of improved coaching we might get next year.

  • Chuck

    Allen is a joke for a coach,he says the qb that gives the team the best chance to win will play.Pryor 3-5;Mcgloin 1-5 that is easy math and Marc Davis can add.

  • marks hair

    terrible luck if we end up at pick 5

  • disqus_yeZNegncsV

    Just WHAT do they do?

  • Chuck

    Agree

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    worst case scenario, Raiders behind both Cleveland and St. Louis, no way to trade down for both their first rounders.

  • https://twitter.com/MimiPeepeechimi Just Fire Baby

    Sumlin just signed a huge extenson and more than doubled his buyout. I can’t see him agreeing to an extension, then doubling his buyout without ever getting any new money. That would be moronic on his part.
    And we won’t pay him the $30 million GUARANTEED that is on his current contract.

  • Raider-Fan-inKC

    10 head coaches in 17 years just screams of lack of job security

  • disqus_yeZNegncsV

    Ummm. how about the truth? Players say “Matt is really hard on himself and we have to tell him that it’s understandable he makes mistakes sometimes.”

  • severeraiderz

    Wow didn’t know that Penn St story. Another thing that goes unnoticed is that he and TP are the same age

  • disqus_yeZNegncsV

    What irony: this poster, Mistic, calling a coach a “liar.”

    BTW, TP is a good young man. Other than that, it’s over.

  • DKnight007

    If Davis and McK want Gruden, than this is the year to make an aggressive run at him. The team is finally out of cap hell and will have 60 million in cap space. Gruden would be able to recruit a number of different quality free agents and he would have his choice of QB in FA or through the draft practically.

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    Even Houston finally benched Schaub after consecutive pick sixes; McGloin has had a turnover inside the 20 each game he had started; and he’s just a rookie.
    I was a fan of McGloin, but the book has been opened, his game has been revealed.
    I do think he has made our WRs and TEs better though.