Raiders can't hang with playoff teams

For a while, the Oakland Raiders had kept games close with the competition. A recent string against playoff-caliber teams has shown how wide the chasm really is.

Raiders Report Card:

PASSING OFFENSE: F -- JaMarcus Russell and Josh McCown were a combined 13-for-31 for 129 yards, three interceptions, a lost fumble and the one touchdown. Starting wideouts Jerry Porter and Ronald Curry accounted for just 45 yards on four receptions. The Raiders never got anything going until the game was well out of hand. The last touchdown was a moral victory and little else. The offensive line had three holding penalties.

When Russell went down in a heap, appearing to fall on his right shoulder and bang his head on the sideline, at least 10 black-shirted members of the Raiders medical, training and support staff sprinted to the opposite sideline to check out their multi-million dollar investment.

Turns out Russell just had the wind knocked out of him.

"I fell kind of awkward and just tried to get breathing right," Russell said. "Once I got up, I was OK."

Wide receiver Jerry Porter was first concerned Russell had hurt his throwing shoulder, but was relieved to see he was OK.

"It was good to let him go out and get bloodied a little bit," Porter said.

RUSHING OFFENSE: C -- Dominic Rhodes gained 115 yards on 27 carries, his biggest yardage game since his rookie season in 2001. Twenty-five of those yards came on one chunk, and he averaged 3.5 yards per carry on the other 26. Many of his yards came with the Jaguars well ahead and the Raiders simply not wanting to make things worse.

PASS DEFENSE: F -- The run-oriented Jaguars strafed the Raiders from beginning to end with two different quarterbacks. Starter David Garrard was 11 of 18 for 199 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Quinn Gray relieved Garrard early in the second half and finished five of eight for 54 yards and a touchdown. Combined, they had a 117.5 passer rating. Receivers were open all day. Kirk Morrison's goal-line interception at the end of the first half kept the Jags under 50.

RUSH DEFENSE: F -- Missed tackles galore, and it started right away when Fred Taylor ran 62 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage. He finished with 111 yards on just 11 carries, a gaudy 15.9 average. Maurice Jones-Drew added 10 carries for 45 yards and bulled safety Hiram Eugene into the end zone. The Jaguars rushed for 201 yards on 28 attempts.

Warren Sapp received three penalties, the last one when he bumped an official, and was ejected. Defensive end Derrick Burgess got called for one as well.

"I was real unhappy about that," Kiffin said. "It was Week 16, and it's the first time you really saw that kind of lack of discipline at all. That represents our team, and it doesn't matter whether this guy did this or that. The bottom line is it represents us, and that falls on me."

SPECIAL TEAMS: D-plus -- Really not all that bad except for one hideous error, which ruins the grade. After giving up punt returns for touchdowns in the two previous games, Scott Stark took a reverse from Dennis Northcutt and raced 56 yards to the 2-yard line, setting up a touchdown. Chris Carr stumbled on the opening kickoff and was downed at the 13. Kickoff coverage was good as the Jaguars opened on average at the 19.

COACHING: D -- This was a team that simply didn't look ready to play, much as was the case two weeks prior in Green Bay. The Raiders had 12 men on the field for their first defensive snap. On one promising offensive possession in the second half, the Raiders finally had good down-and-distance for Russell and were in Jaguars territory. Lane Kiffin called for two runs by Rhodes -- each lost a yard -- and the Raiders punted.

Jaguars Report Card:

PASSING OFFENSE: B-plus -- David Garrard had another solid day as he passed for two touchdowns, but the one negative is that he threw his third interception of the season.

RUSHING OFFENSE: A -- On the Jaguars' first offensive play after the Raiders had 12 men on the field on their first defensive play, Fred Taylor ran 62 yards for a touchdown. He wound up with 111 yards on seven carries, and the Jaguars ended up with 201 rushing yards on just 28 carries for a 7.2 yards-per-carry average.

"This last couple of weeks, beginning with Green Bay, we've seen playoff-type teams," linebacker Thomas Howard said. "You can tell a playoff-type team when you play one. You can just tell the way they come and play. They were ready to play."

PASS DEFENSE: A-minus -- Although Josh McCown completed 6 of 8 passes against them, they handcuffed rookie JaMarcus Russell, who completed only 7 of 23 passes and threw three interceptions.

RUSH DEFENSE: B-minus -- The Jaguars gave up a 100-yard rusher for the second consecutive week as Dominic Rhodes ran 27 times for 115 yards. Some of the yardage came when the Jaguars had a big lead and were playing pass.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B-plus -- The Jaguars got a 56-yard punt return on a reverse by Scott Starks, who took a handoff from Dennis Northcutt. Adam Podlesh averaged 49.8 net yards on four punts, and Josh Scobee's kickoffs gave them good field position.

COACHING: A -- The Raiders were so inept that the coaching wasn't much of a factor, but Jack Del Rio had his team focused even though it was coming off a big win in Pittsburgh.


SB Report Top Stories