weather icon Clear

Grading the Raiders at their bye week

Updated October 13, 2019 - 5:44 pm

ALAMEDA, Calif. — At their Week 6 bye, the Raiders are a surprising 3-2 following two wins away from home over the Colts and Bears.

The schedule-makers did the Raiders no favors with seven consecutive weeks without a home game. And the Raiders have had to shuffle their roster at a number of positions — most notably wide receiver, offensive line and linebacker. But head coach Jon Gruden has gotten the most out of his players to have a winning record through five games.

With that in mind, here’s a position-by-position look at how the Raiders have done so far:


In the Raiders’ three wins, quarterback Derek Carr has effectivley managed the offense. He’s kept the unit in the right plays, made good checks at the line of scrimmage and completed key throws to not just sustain drives, but also put points on the board.

But in the two losses, Carr’s inconsistent play has led to costly turnovers. Put simply, in the two games Carr has thrown an interception, the Raiders have lost. The three games he hasn’t, the Raiders have won.

Still, in completing 73.3 percent of his passes for 1,117 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions, Carr appears to be on the right track.


First-round pick Josh Jacobs has been the Raiders’ best offensive player through five games and is making a case for Offensive Rookie of the Year. He’s currently on pace for 1,376 yards rushing with 430 yards and four touchdowns through five games — averaging 4.9 yards per carry. He’s also caught six passes for 77 yards.

But as good as Jacobs has been, there’s likely room for him to be even better if the Raiders increase his involvment in their passing attack.


In no small part because the club let go of Antonio Brown just before the start of the regular season, the Raiders have not gotten much out of their wide receivers — and have continued to shuffle the group.

While Tyrell Williams has caught four touchdown passes, he’s gained just 111 yards receiving after racking up 105 in Week 1.

The Raiders were able to defeat the Bears without Williams, but they need more from the group. Fifth-round pick Hunter Renfrow has made 12 receptions for 101 yards, but he’s only caught 52 percent of his targeted passes.

Trevor Davis, acquired from the Packers in late September, has shown flashes. And the Raiders just traded for Bills’ 2017 second-round pick Zay Jones.

But the shadow of Brown looms large as the Raiders try to get more production from that spot.


The Raiders have found a gem in Darren Waller, who leads the team with 37 receptions and 359 yards receiving. He’s been the club’s second-best offensive player through the first five games, as 17 of his 37 receptions have resulted in first downs. Plus, Waller has been as good blocking as he’s been catching — springing Jacobs for key runs.

Fourth-round rookie Forster Moreau has also emerged in the last two contests, making a combined seven receptions for 76 yards with a touchdown. Waller and Moreau will be key to keeping the Raiders in contention for the rest of the season.


For the most part, the Raiders’ offensive line has done a nice job navigating through constant shuffling. Kolton Miller and Trent Brown have performed well at tackle, most notably against the Broncos in Week 1 and the Bears in Week 5. Rodney Hudson has also played up to his usual strong standard at center, and Richie Incognito has been good at left guard since his Week 3 return — though he must reduce his penalties.

Right guard Gabe Jackson should return in the next couple weeks to give the group an even bigger boost.


The Raiders defense has been better overall, largely due to improvement along the defensive line. The group already has nine sacks, after registering a league-low 13 last season. Free agent signee Benson Mayowa leads the team with 4.5 sacks. Fourth-round rookie Maxx Crosby also looks like a gem, coming up with a forced fumble in Indianapolis before registering the first sack of his career against the Bears.


The run defense has improved significantly, and Tahir Whitehead’s proven versatility alone almost gives this group an “A.” But Vontaze Burfict got himself suspended for the rest of the season for his dangerous play, and that could prove to be a significant blow as the schedule continues. Burfict had been playing well, battling through injury in a familiar scheme. But without him, the Raiders will primarily turn to Whitehead and Nicholas Morrow.


The Raiders are No. 22 against the pass and have been up and down through the first five games. Losing safety Johnathan Abram for the entire season after Week 1 to a shoulder injury hasn’t helped. But there have also been a few consequential coverage busts. Gruden said the Raiders will use Daryl Worley in a more versatile role going forward, which could help the unit as a whole make more plays.


Most outside of the Raiders’ building did not expect the club to be 3-2 at this point. There’s certainly plenty for the team to clean up and improve upon over the rest of the season. But at this point, they have an identity as a team that can run the ball well and play solid defense. Plus, they already have three wins. They’re in good shape to stay in contention through the rest of 2019.

Contact Myles Simmons at msimmons@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0350. Follow @MylesASimmons on Twitter.

Don't miss the latest Raiders news. Like our Vegas Nation page
Raiders Videos
2020 NFL Draft plans announced - Video
NFL and tourism representatives have announced the plan for the 2020 NFL Draft in Las Vegas, an event expected to be one of the biggest events in city history. Las Vegas Review-Journal's Cassie Soto and Mick Akers discuss the details, including staging areas and road closures.
Raiders Serve Lunch at Jack Dailey Elementary - VIDEO
On Tuesday, Raiders fullback Alec Ingold and tight end Darren Waller visited Jack Dailey Elementary to serve lunch and interact with the students (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NFL 2020 Draft Announcement - Video
The city of Las Vegas and the NFL have announced their plans to host the 2020 NFL draft announcement including multiple locations on the strip and a stage at the Bellagio fountains.
Jon Gruden Tours Allegiant Stadium - VIDEO
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden toured the team's new home Allegiant Stadium for the first time.
Dana White fuels rumors of Tom Brady to Las Vegas Raiders - VIDEO
UFC president Dana White believes there is a real possibility he will be watching his good friend Tom Brady taking snaps for the Las Vegas Raiders from White’s suite at Allegiant Stadium next season. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NFL’s Roger Goodell says Las Vegas could be Super Bowl City - Video
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Friday morning that Las Vegas has everything a city needs to host a Super Bowl, and more.
Allegiant Stadium Set to Open on Time - VIDEO
The Las Vegas Stadium Authority board was informed during their meeting on Thursday that Allegiant Stadium will be completed on time.
Conor McGregor says he'd be honored to be the first to fight at Allegiant Stadium
Raiders PSLs sold out
Raiders personal seat licenses for Allegiant Stadium have sold out. (Mick Akers/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Josh Jacobs Named PFWA's Offensive Rookie of the Year - VIDEO
On Tuesday, Raiders running back Josh Jacobs was named Offensive Rookie of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Allegiant Stadium roof completion date pushed back yet again - Video
Allegiant Stadium's roof, a signature feature of the building, was expected to be installed by fall but is now planned for completion by mid-May. Las Vegas Review-Journal host Cassie Soto discusses the set back with business writer and stadium insider Rick Velotta.
CES 2020: 5G could enhance fan engagement in Allegiant Stadium - Video
The integration of 5G could help enhance fan engagement at Allegiant Stadium, the home of the future Las Vegas Raiders.
Raiders Sign Richie Incognito to Contract Extension, Hope to create Continuity - VIDEO
The Raiders announced that they signed guard Richie Incognito to a contract extension, hoping to create some continuity on a team that had so much turnover this past season.
Raiders excited for the Vegas transition - VIDEO
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said Monday that the team is excited for the move from Oakland to Las Vegas. The team will hold their offseason programs in Oakland and Napa before officially debuting as the Las Vegas Raiders next season.
Raiders foundation set for move to Vegas - VIDEO
While the season may not have gone as the team would have liked, the Raiders understand that they have a solid foundation for their new home. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders roller coaster season ends with a tough loss in Denver - VIDEO
The Raiders lost to the Broncos after a failed 2-pt conversion and finish their up-and-down season 7-9.
Raiders lose final game, end season 7-9
The Raiders lost their final game as the "Oakland Raiders," to the Denver Broncos 16-15. They end their season at seven wins and nine losses.
Raiders thank Oakland for their support as they prepare for Vegas move - VIDEO
The Raiders talk about their impending move to Las Vegas after their 16-15 loss to the Denver Broncos. The team closes the season with a 7-9 record. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders' season ends with loss to Broncos, 16-15 - Video
The Raiders 2019 season has come to a close with a 16-15 loss to the Broncos on Sunday evening, crushing any playoff hopes the Raiders had left.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Post Season Hopes Still Alive - Video
The Vegas Nation crew previews the Raiders matchup against the Denver Broncos and breaks down how the team can still make the playoffs, or at least close out the season with a win and what it means as they prepare to head to Las Vegas 2020. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Darren Waller Wins Craig Long Award - VIDEO
Raiders tight end Darren Waller was named the recipient of the sixth-annual Craig Long Award. The Craig Long Award is presented annually to the Raiders player who best exemplifies professionalism and collaboration with the media.
Jacobs doubtful Sunday, Raiders hold final regular season practice - VIDEO
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden announced that Josh Jacobs would be doubtful for Sunday's game against the Broncos after the team held their final regular season practice in Oakland.
The NFL wants to showcase Raiders Las Vegas debut - VIDEO
The NFL is trying to figure out how to get as many eyes as possible on the grand opening of Allegiant Stadium in the Raiders Las Vegas debut next season.
Jacobs and Mullen among Raiders missing from Thursday's practice - VIDEO
Rookies Josh Jacobs and Trayvon Mullen were two of the six Raiders missing from Thursday's practice. The others were guards Richie Incognito and Gabe Jackson, defensive back Lamarcus Joyner and wide receiver Tyrell Williams .
Josh Jacobs Treated for a Skin Infection - VIDEO
Raiders running back Josh Jacobs underwent surgery for a “superficial skin infection.” Jacobs was among 6 players who missed practice Thursday due to injury.
Former Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch coming out of retirement - VIDEO
Late Monday night it was announced that former Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch is coming out of retirement. Lynch signed with the Seattle Seahawks, the team he won a Super Bowl with.
Weather and Playoffs cant distract Raiders against Broncos - VIDEO
The Raiders can not allow their cold weather woes and potential playoff opportunity to distract them against the Denver Broncos in the final game of the season.
Raiders have to step up once more with a Playoff chance on the line - VIDEO
The Raiders will go into Denver on Sunday looking for the season sweep of the Broncos and to give themselves an opportunity for postseason play but with multiple injuries on the roster the reserves will once again have to step up in their absence.
Raiders find continuing to fight rewarding - VIDEO
The Raiders have fought through adversity all season and they might strike gold for their efforts with a wildcard birth.
Raiders win in Los Angeles revive playoff hopes - VIDEO
With their post season destiny in control of other teams around the league, Sunday's win against the Chargers revived the Raiders playoff hopes going into the last game of the season.
Raiders say they pushed through adversity for W over Chargers - VIDEO
Raiders' Hunter Renfrow, Maxx Crosby and Darren Waller talk about the team fighting back through tough situations and adversity to keep themselves in playoff contention after defeating the Los Angeles Chargers on the road, 24-17. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders keep playoff hopes alive, beat Chargers 24-17 - Video
The Raiders beat the Chargers 24-17 on Sunday afternoon to snap a four-game losing streak and keep their playoff hopes alive.
Vegas Nation: Raiders-Chargers Game Preview Video
The Raiders are the visiting team against the Chargers, but the influx of Raiders fans may give the Silver and Black a home field advantage. Ed Graney and Myles Simmons preview the matchup, discuss how Josh Jacobs and Ritchie Incognito's injuries could affect the team and talk about who wants it more in what could be Philip Rivers' final game in a Chargers uniform. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Roger Goodell tours Allegiant Stadium
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell toured $2 billion Allegiant Stadium and called Las Vegas a "Super Bowl city" on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019.