Raiders Week One Report Card

It didn't take long for Josh McCown to make an impression on the Oakland crowd, which grew so frustrated with the Raiders' quarterback that they booed him off the field at halftime.


It didn't take long for Josh McCown to make an impression on the Oakland crowd, which grew so frustrated with the Raiders' quarterback that they booed him off the field at halftime and at the end of the game. McCown's QB rating of 93.0 is the most misleading stat of the game because he struggled to move the offense and missed several easy completions by sailing throws wide or short. Lane Kiffin said he liked what he saw from McCown but outside of a handful of plays, he was no more effective than Andrew Walter or Aaron Brooks were last year. Grade: D


Hard to make a fair assessment since the running game was non-existent for the first half or so. Nothing worked early and it wasn't until LaMont Jordan started getting more involved in the passing game that things loosened up. Jordan did finish with 159 total yards of offense and ran hard, an encouraging sign. FB Justin Griffith's short catch-and-run for a TD was also a good sign, but there needed to be more overall production from this running game, especially early. Grade: C


Ronald Curry had a huge game with 10 catches, 133 yards and a touchdown but the rest of the receiving corps was a non-factor. Jerry Porter didn't make a single reception in the first half and finished with just two for the game; tight end Zach Miller caught three passes but totaled only 23 yards, and Mike Williams had just one catch. Grade: C


There wasn't a lot of running room early and the pass protection broke down in the second half, but overall this was a step forward for the front five, the two ineligible downfield penalties against LG Robert Gallery notwithstanding. Despite losing starting C Jeremy Newberry to a hamstring injury on the first series, the Raiders actually held up pretty well and kept the heat off McCown for the most part. A false start on RT Cornell Green in the first half negated a first down and killed a potential scoring drive. Grade: C+


Given how much time he had to throw and how little pressure there was by the Raiders' defense, Kitna could have whipped up a batch of cookies and passed them out before flinging the ball downfield. Outside of two sacks, Oakland rarely got in Kitna's face and basically allowed him to do whatever he wanted. Tatum Bell also had a solid day rushing for 87 yards and a game-sealing touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Pro Bowl DE Derrick Burgess made just one tackle all day. Grade: D-


The Raiders didn't blitz much and instead had the linebackers drop into coverage to offset the Lions' passing, but the plan rarely worked. Not only did Kitna have all day to throw, but he picked on the linebackers frequently, including Kirk Morrison who was burned for a 32-yard pass after Oakland had pinned the Lions at their own 1. Morrison redeemed himself with the interception in the end zone but was just a temporary reprieve. Grade: C-


So much for that No.1-ranked secondary. The Lions sliced Oakland's secondary up like a knife through melted butter, only butter occasionally stiffens up. Detroit did a great job of spreading the ball around and using multi-receiver sets, which gave the Raiders defensive backs fits. The Lions got so open it seemed as if the Raiders were playing zone instead of the man-to-man coverages they normally excel at. It didn't help that there was no pass rush to speak of, but the DBs must do better for this team to have a chance. Routt's interception was nice but not much else went right. Grade: D


Sebastian Janikowski had one of the worst games of his career and remains stuck in a slump that is now going on two-plus seasons. He missed three field goals, all of them long, but that's what he was drafted by Oakland to do. He's run out of excuses and the Raiders are paying the price for what now looks like one of their biggest first-round draft pick busts of all time. Oakland also gave up a big kickoff return after fighting to get back in the game, muffling some of the momentum it had built. At least Shane Lechler punted well. Grade: D+


The offense looked like it was still in training camp mode, the defense was lethargic and the special teams stunk. Other than that, it was a good afternoon. OK, OK, so that's a bit sarcastic but who can help it after a loss, an embarrassing loss, to the Detroit Lions? It's not as if this was an upper-echelon team. Heck, Detroit is the doormat of the NFC and the Raiders made the Lions look like the toast of the town. Lane Kiffin's play-calling left a lot to be desire and one has to wonder how inspired the players were considering how they came out in the first half. Granted, seasons aren't won and lost in the first week but this is a pretty big hole the team has dug for itself already. Grade: C-

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