Following a legendary collapse in the home opener for the Las Vegas Raiders, it’s tough to look at the positives. However, if you’re looking in the right spots, you can see silver linings in the offensive meltdown that was the second half. The problem is that you have to go in with a magnifying glass to find those silver linings. And, while Pro Football Focus is not the be-all and end-all, it is still a useful metric for a more in-depth look at the game. So, we will look at the top five positives according to PFF and see what we can come up with.
Raiders News: Who fared the best for the Silver and Black?
Josh Jacobs, RB: 77.9
Jacobs had the highest graded week for the Raiders. There are a couple of disappointing parts about this grade, though. Number one, the grade didn’t even break 80, so what does that say about the rest of the offense? Two, Jacobs only touched the ball three times in the fourth quarter. Jacobs appears to have run hard and made something out of nothing more often than he should have through two games. Josh McDaniels needs to stick with his plan to feed Jacobs in the coming weeks if they want to turn the ship around.
Kolton Miller, LT: 71.5
Seeing Miller here is a sight for sore eyes. Following an abysmal grade of 58.7 in Week 1, it’s quite a turnaround. And no, he wasn’t facing Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack in Week 2, but it’s still good to see the grade improve. Seeing how the O-line will be the Achilles heel of this offense, having their anchor perform is vital to seeing progress across the board. And Lord knows they need to see improvement.
How did the Raiders’ tight ends perform in Week 2?
Darren Waller, TE: 69.3
See, this is where my issues with PFF really start; with grades like this for Waller. Yeah, he didn’t put up a crazy stat line, but he seemed to be targeted in every major moment in the game. On third downs, end zone, safety blanket, whatever, Waller was there for Derek Carr. I’m not quite sure what PFF was seeing here, but if that was worth a 69.3, I hope No. 83 gets a 69.3 every week. Fix your grading system already.
Foster Moreau, TE: 68.2
See above because the tight ends seemed to be “on” on Sunday. I suppose that a stat line of three receptions for 30 yards is not impressive. But even more so than Waller, Moreau was laying some key blocks the whole game. And although a screen his way got blown up, that shouldn’t go against him. At least based on his strengths, Moreau seemed to play a good game. He isn’t the highflyer that Waller is, but at the line of scrimmage, Moreau seemed to play higher than what his grade indicates.
The weakest link?
John Simpson, OL: 67.9
A situation similar to Miller’s above, after receiving the worst PFF grade amongst Raiders offensive linemen in the first game, Simpson saw a 17.6-point jump in his grade. Contrary to Week 1, you didn’t hear much of Simpson’s name. Which, for an offensive lineman, is a great thing. So, seeing steps up from two linemen is a major positive sign for the Raiders. Maybe they aren’t in as bad shape as Raider Nation thought?
Improvements at the offensive line and running back positions are a positive going forward for the Silver and Black. Four of the top-graded players have their hand in the dirt to start a play (traditionally). Continued improvement there will lead to improvement elsewhere, and for Raider Nation’s sake, that improvement needs to continue.
*Top Photo: AP Photo/Rick Scuteri