NFL News & Analysis

OAK-TB grades: Derek Carr excels, leads Raiders to win

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Derek Carr #4 of the Oakland Raiders celebrates after a 1-yard touchdown run by Latavius Murray #28 during their NFL game against the Atlanta Falcons at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 18, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Oakland Raiders 30, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24 

Here are the biggest takeaways and highest-graded players from the Radiers' win over the Buccaneers.

Oakland Raiders

Quarterback Grade: Derek Carr, 82.7

Derek Carr leads Raiders

After a somewhat lackluster first half, Carr and the Oakland offense refused to go away the rest of the game. Carr excelled with a clean pocket, going 37-of-48 for 458 yards and a 126.9 QB rating when he was not under pressure. He was also successful in Oakland’s two-minute drills although they were typically derailed by missed field goals or penalties. Carr’s receivers also played a big role in contributing to the passing game, as Carr only accounted for 48.3 percent of his yards with the ball in the air. Most games this year Derek has been good for a couple special throws and this game was no different. He had a handful of “big-time throws” on the day, and his best was probably a potential game-winning toss to Amari Cooper that Cooper ultimately dropped.

Top offensive grades:

QB Derek Carr, 82.7
C Rodney Hudson, 79.5
LT Donald Penn, 78.3
LG Kelechi Osemele, 76.9
RT Austin Howard, 75.9

Offensive line keeps pocket clean for Carr to distribute

Oakland’s starting offensive line was only charged with giving up seven QB hurries and one sack which played a large factor in Derek Carr’s strong performance. RG Gabe Jackson was the sole weak link as he was beat a few times in pass pro when Carr got rid of the ball quickly, but even he only surrendered two true QB hurries. The WRs also played a large role in propelling Oakland’s offense. Amari Cooper had a very strong outing with twelve catches on fifteen targets and only one drop, albeit on a play that should have won the game. Michael Crabtree also produced over 100 yards receiving but was less productive with only eight catches on sixteen targets, and 45 of his yards came on one (impressive) catch and run. WR Seth Roberts had the most pivotal play in the game with a catch on a dig route in overtime that he took to the house after breaking two tackles.

Top defensive Grades:

OLB Khalil Mack, 91.4
SS Karl Joseph, 85.5
ILB Perry Riley, 82.3
CB TJ Carrie, 81.4
CB DJ Hayden, 76.6

Mack back at All-Pro level

In seven previous games to this point, Khalil Mack had only seven combined knockdowns. He registered five in this game alone. To go with three sacks and two hits, Mack added a further five pressures, winning at will with either speed or power. He also has the added bonus of versatility, finishing with an 84.5 run defending grade. The Raiders’ linebacker almost single-handedly won his team the game, forcing a fumble in Tampa territory in overtime. The Bucs were fortunate to recover the loose ball, denying Mack the game-defining moment he fully deserved. After his best performance of the season, the Raiders’ pass-rusher will look to reproduce his 2015 form.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Quarterback grade: Jameis Winston, 72.2

Winston keeps Bucs competitive with decent display

Winston was afforded little help against Oakland, yet still came close to stealing a win. The Bucs’ signal-caller had to contend with Khalil Mack constantly in his face, but did enough to ensure the game never got away from them. Tampa adopted a more conservative approach. A wise move considering the disruption Khalil Mack was causing. If he has one regret, Winston may see flashbacks of a couple of deep passes he missed. In total, he managed only one completion on six attempts on passes that travelled further than 20 yards in the air. The only completion was an excellent throw into the corner of the endzone, but the downfield misses intended for Mike Evans will continue to irk.

Top offensive grades:

C Joe Hawley, 80.9
RT Demar Dotson, 79.4
RG Ali Marpet, 77.9
LG Kevin Pamphile, 75.6
WR Adam Humphries, 73.2

Front five only as good as its weakest link

Four of the Bucs’ five starting offensive lineman enjoyed positive performances against the Raiders. Together, the unit gave up two sacks, a hit and eight pressures on 44 dropbacks; a solid outing on the whole. The interior, consisting of Marpet, Pamphile and Hawley, gave up just a solitary hurry. On the outside, Demar Dotson managed an average game in pass protection (three combined pressures allowed) and showed a nasty streak in the run game. In contrast, Donovan Smith remains a huge problem on Winston’s blindside. He coughed up seven of the 11 pressures allowed by the Bucs’ line, and was frequently tormented by Khalil Mack. Tampa appear committed to Smith at that position over the long-term, but his development remains far from a certainty.

Top defensive grades:

LB Lavonte David, 86.2
DT Gerald McCoy, 74.7
S Keith Tandy, 74.5
S Bradley McDougald, 70.9
DE Noah Spence, 51.8

David lone bright spot in tough outing for Tampa Bay defense

LB Lavonte David played a strong game for the Buccaneers as he amassed a QB hurry along with five stops and only allowed eight yards on five targets in coverage. Unfortunately for Tampa Bay he was the only impressive performance on their defense in an effort that was mostly marred by missed tackles. The Buccaneers defense had twelve missed tackles in total and CB Vernon Hargreaves III had three himself which was the main reason he struggled in coverage. DT Gerald McCoy played a decent game with two QB hurries and a stop while playing sound football all around. The Buccaneers also struggled to affect Derek Carr which enabled him to play with a pretty clean pocket, where he excelled on Sunday.

PFF Game-Ball Winner: Khalil Mack 

PFF’s player grading process includes multiple reviews, which may change the grade initially published in order to increase its accuracy. Learn more about how we grade and access grades for every player through each week of the NFL season by subscribing to Player Grades.




Unlock the 2023 Fantasy Draft Kit, with League Sync, Live Draft Assistant, PFF Grades & Data Platform that powers all 32 Pro Teams

$31 Draft Kit Fee + $8.99/mo
$89.88/yr + FREE Draft Kit