Grading the Oakland Raiders 2015 Draft Class

David Wilson – Jan 1, 2016

As this season nears it’s end, we now have now had enough football played that we can make a reasonable attempt to grade the Raiders 2015 Draft class.

Oakland Raiders Keys to Success: Green Bay Packers

Andrew Flores – Dec 15, 2015

In what I can only describe as the miracle in Mile High, the Raiders beat the Broncos. Khalil Mack was a monster dominating Denver’s offensive line and sacking Osweiler 5 times. Mack was so dominant I’d imagine he has quickly become the source of Quarterbacks’ nightmares. This win was critical for the Raiders and could not have come at a better time. Hopefully the win has the Raiders confident heading into a must win game against Green Bay. This week’s game will be an all-out war as both teams fight for playoff positioning. The Raiders are fighting to keep playoff hopes alive; while the Packers are fighting to win their division. Green Bay will be confident coming off of a win, but their 9-4 record is a bit deceptive. The Packers have struggled all season and it is my belief that the loss of Jordy Nelson has been the biggest factor in the Packers’ offensive woes. 

The tragedy of Aldon Smith

Raul Martinez – Nov 25, 2015

Let’s not sugar coat this. Aldon Smith’s suspension is a lose/lose situation.

Oakland Raiders Keys to Success: Denver Broncos

Andrew Flores – Dec 8, 2015

While the loss is a bitter pill to swallow the Raiders went toe to toe with a playoff caliber football team. The defensive unit was relentless sacking Smith 4 times. Carr had the offense clicking, Murray looked confident and was running hard.  I know it felt like the sky was falling as a win slipped from the Raiders’ grasp, but there were plenty of positives. In the final seconds of the 2nd quarter Carr threw a spectacular 25 yard touchdown threading the needle with pinpoint accuracy. This throw was unbelievable, both Eric Berry and Sean Smith had airtight coverage on Crabtree yet Carr was able to make the play.  I was initially hesitant when people compared Carr to Aaron Rodgers early on yet, I can’t help but agree. The bottom-line is Carr is developing into an elite quarterback for the Raiders. Carr’s struggles were largely reflective of the team’s struggles. As the game progressed the Chiefs started dialing up the blitz and the offensive line crumbled.  While the argument can be made that Carr’s turnovers cost the Raiders the game, the reality is that football is the ultimate team sport and the loss was a team effort.

Oakland Raiders Keys To Success: Tennessee Titans

Andrew Flores – Nov 25, 2015

Let’s forget about the record and let’s forget about last week’s loss because that is what the Raiders will have to do this week. The Raiders need to focus on this week. The Raiders need to approach the rest of the season one game at a time.  It’s often what you’ll hear when you listen to the best coaches in the NFL. This week the Raiders will face the Tennessee Titans. The Titans are undergoing a rebuild and in analyzing the Titans they compare well to last year’s Raiders. The Titans have lost 10 consecutive home games, and are pretty much out of the playoff conversation. But they have some young talent and a dynamic rookie quarterback, so the Raiders will need to look past the Titans’ 2-8 record. While this is one of the easier games on the schedule, the Raiders look like a team that has had their confidence shattered. They played a largely uninspired game on Sunday and while many have questioned defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. The Raider's offense was the real issue on Sunday. This is cause for concern as this team has talent to be elite.  

Oakland Raiders Keys to Success: Detroit Lions

Flores – Nov 17, 2015

Last week’s loss left the Raiders reeling. The Vikings offensive coordinator was able to exploit the Raider’s deficiencies all game long. While it wasn’t flashy the Vikings were effective.  The Vikings stout defense was able to harass Carr consistently. But it is my opinion that Raiders’ offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave was the biggest issue within this game. That being said the Raiders will need to refocus and show some resilience. The Detroit Lions will be confident coming off of a historic win against the Green Bay Packers. This Lions team has underwhelmed throughout the season, but they cannot be underestimated.

Raiders Defensive Midseason Grades

Andrew Flores – Nov 14, 2015

When you watch the tape you see defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. has his players buying in and playing with passion. The Raider’s defense has done a good job of swarming to the ball throughout the season. The defensive ends have been impressive, but they still are not playing to their full potential. From a coaching standpoint one of the glaring weaknesses I noticed was that the coaches allow the opponents to dictate the matchups and they will need to do a better job of adapting as games progress in the future.  In the game against the Steelers Pittsburgh was able to move Brown to avoid our best corners in Hayden and this was one of the keys to Brown’s success. Brown is an elite receiver and I am not trying to take away from his success, but the Raiders should have let Hayden shadow Brown all game.  As a final note I would state this unit has been better than expected, but still has room for improvement with that said as they continue to gel this unit will only improve.

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