Studs and Duds From Week 3

Studs

Richard Seymour (+8/-1)

His hamstring didn’t seem to bother his play. He was applying pressure consistently and was a force stopping the run. The Raiders are paying Seymour elite money this season and can’t be disappointed with his play. Seymour and Henderson have both missed a game this season and have really stepped up in each others absence against the run. Seymour missed practice Wednesday, but if he can stay healthy he will have a chance to make this list weekly.

Marcel Reece (+8/-0)

It isn’t often a fullback will make a list of studs, but Reece had an amazing game last Sunday in Phoenix. He did an excellent job picking up blitzes and finding players to block in the run game. He became a receiver on multiple occasions and looked more like a running back catching the ball and running with it. He has come a long way and deserves some recognition for his efforts.

Rolando McClain (+7/-1)

McPain has game. He still learning things in coverage, but is beginning to trust his instincts more and play faster. We know he has a mean streak after body slamming Danny Amendola in week two. He tipped a pass, was in position and is showing up around the ball. McClain’s efforts may have gone unnoticed during the game, but watching film it was clear McClain had a game worthy of this list.

Lamarr Houtson (+5/-1)

Another good game by a rookie. Houston repeatedly sealed the edge in the run game and was applying pressure repeatedly in the first half. He didn’t have as strong of a second half. Chalk this up to endurance. The Raiders only have three true defensive ends and Houston wasn’t getting many plays off.

Nnamdi Asomugha (+4/-3) and Stanford Routt (+5/-1)

Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Breaston can be formidable pair of receivers that are difficult for opposing cornerbacks. Both receivers scored a touchdown on the day and it is no coincidence the touchdowns were not scored on the Raiders starting cornerbacks. The Raiders starting duo was so good the Cardinals were running plays to specifically target the safeties and linebackers in coverage. This was a wise strategy as the Cardinals were able to score two touchdowns.

Asomugha proved why many consider him the best corner in the league. Fitzgerald was physically frustrated with the match up. Asomugha had two negative plays in run support, with a habit of lowering his head and lunging for the tackle becoming a reoccurring theme. Routt has turned in a few solid games in a row and could be finally turning the corner. You haven’t seen many people calling for Chris Johnson and that’s a testament to Routt’s solid play.

Duds

Cooper Carlisle (-6/+1)

What can you say when one lineman keeps showing up on a duds list and yet there has been no discussion of replacing him? He is better in the running game, but hardly special. He was tossed aside like a rag doll by Darnell Dockett on multiple occasions including what could have been touchdown pass if Gradkowski was given enough time to find the open receiver. His play makes me cringe just thinking about it.

Khalif Barnes (-3/+0)

He comes in for a few plays and looks horrible. So much for the theory that Barnes was a better option than Walker. Last season he was going to press for the left tackle position, this season he is the backup right tackle, that should tell you everything you need to know.

Langston Walker (-3/+0)

Oh, a third offensive lineman makes the duds list? Walker was injured and out of the game and still couldn’t keep from making a handful of bad plays. His pass protection is embarrassing, but he can be a decent run blocker on occasion, so I guess he has that going for him.

Johnnie Lee-Higgins (-3/+0)

How did he even make the list having played so few snaps on offense? Horrible punt returning, that’s how. Just catching the ball and running straight forward was better than what Higgins was doing out there. It seems Nick Miller or Jacoby Ford could be given the shot to return punts sooner rather than later.

Sebastian Janikowski (-3)

He missed three kicks including the game winner, but he is still a weapon. He will bounce back as he has before and I’m predicting a game winner this week for redemption.

Notables:

Bruce Gradkowski (-11/+9)

It would be interesting to see what a Raiders quarterback could do with a little pass protection. Gradkowski had at least three passes go off the hands of defenders that are normally easy interceptions. He made some plays, but missed far too many open throws. One thing is clear, the Raiders quarterbacks can only go as far as the protection goes.

Quentin Groves (-7/+6)

He is always around the ball and seems to be making plays every couple minutes. His problem is mostly in coverage, but will also miss the occasional tackle. If he can eliminate the poor plays he would be a pretty good linebacker. The Raiders are clearly hoping addition playing time at linebacker will help him. He is certainly making an impact, I graded him on 13 plays second only to Gradkowski’s 20.

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