How the Raiders performed in a 34-3 loss against San Francisco.
Given the Raiders are another injury on their front from inserting the drunk guy wearing a Donald Penn jersey and brawling in the stands at left tackle, a total failing grade is tough to assign. But if you’re on the field, you’re supposedly an NFL player, and the Raiders allowed eight sacks to a 49ers defense that entered with just 16. Derek Carr (16-of-21 for 171 yards) could barely remain upright, never mind find enough time to get anything positive going. The margin continued to grow, making a run game that managed just 102 yards on 23 carries a non-factor.
Lordy. Eight more games with this defense. This week’s star-of-the-making on the opposing team was first-time NFL starting quarterback Nick Mullens, who finished with a 151.9 passer rating and, of course, wasn’t sacked. The Raiders are historically bad when it comes to pressuring the quarterback and Mullens remained spotless all evening. The Raiders are nearly as feeble stopping the run, ranking 26th in the league and having allowed 143 yards on the ground Thursday. This is a total mess.
SPECIAL TEAMS: F
Look, the Raiders have cut fifth-round draft picks before. Heck, they have cut a lot higher draft picks. So it’s making less and less sense that rookie punter Johnny Townsend isn’t at least being challenged for the job with some sort of mid-week tryout against whoever might be available. Townsend averaged a net of 37.5 yards on six attempts Thursday and remains one of the league’s worst in average. Daniel Carlson was 1-of-2 on field goals, his second attempt bouncing off the right goal post, which was beyond appropriate for this debacle.
Jon Gruden is, for the most part, taking responsibility for the disaster that is his 1-7 team. And while most NFL teams might struggle some with the sort of injuries that have found it, particularly on the offensive line, the defensive breakdowns are still difficult to explain away. Time and again, the Raiders appear unprepared and unable to execute when coming out for the second half and a stop is needed. Bad team, man. Bad team.
— ED GRANEY