It wasn’t pretty, but the Raiders got a win to improve to 1-1.
Tommy Kelly and John Henderson
Stopping the run was the goal and these two guys were the biggest reason. Henderson’s efforts were almost entirely stopping the run, while Kelly also was getting to the passer. Kelly did have two penalties, but on this day he was dominant despite them.
A recipe for success is stopping the run and running it well. The Raiders were able to do this Sunday. Tom Cable has been impressed with McFadden “running behind his pads.” Indeed that could have been part of his issues in the past, lower his head and basically losing balance too often. McFadden is also pumping his legs after contact. This is newly learned skill for McFadden and it is benefiting him greatly with yards after he is first hit. Certainly his health and Hue Jackson’s scheme are helping him. He even had a couple nice blitz pickups.
He came in and ignited the offense. He got the ball out quick, was very accurate and got his team a win. A lot of what Bruce was able to do was just having confidence his receivers would get to the open spot. Throwing to spots was allowing for a better rhythm and tempo. The quick designed plays were helping out the offensive line. The offense changed in the second half with shorter timing routes and Gradkowski executed perfectly almost the entire time he played.
He didn’t have many opportunities to make plays with the defensive line in his face. When he did he couldn’t manage to make the play. He had a couple of overthrows of wide-open receivers and just missed on a couple others. He was never able to get his timing down. The offensive line woes appear to be getting into his head. He looks scared out there behind this porous line. In contrast, Gradkowski is fearless. Given time, Campbell is still the superior quarterback, but if the Raiders can’t block for him he won’t produce.
Worst player on the field on Sunday. His run blocking and pass blocking were terrible. Lineman routinely dominate him physically and speed rushers just go around him. He makes poor decisions on who to block on running plays. The second straight terrible performance from him. If he isn’t benched soon he better improve, because he could be on this list all season.
He graded him out basically neutral, but he should be the one making plays in the middle of the defense. McClain struggled in the first half, particularly in the first quarter. It is no surprise his play coincided with the defense as a whole. He had an above average second half. No better test for a rookie than Chris Johnson and Steven Jackson, so he had a steep learning curve. McClain can only get better from here, but he still needs to get better. He makes too many mistakes in coverage and arm tackles aren’t going to get the job done.