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Grading Raiders’ victory against Cowboys

Updated November 25, 2021 - 8:00 pm

How the Raiders performed in a 36-33 overtime win against the Cowboys.

Offense: A-minus

Derek Carr had a 22-yard run. And looked pretty fast doing so. He also threw for 373 yards and a score. Josh Jacobs had a drop that might have gone for a long touchdown, but he managed 87 yards and a score with a long of 21 off 22 carries. There was even a Marcus Mariota sighting. One of those goal-line packages coaches constantly talk about paid off with a 3-yard scoring run from the backup quarterback with 7:13 left in the third quarter, leading to a 24-13 advantage. Tight end Darren Waller (two catches, 33 yards) was lost to injury in the second quarter.

Defense: B

It wasn’t a perfect effort by far — the Cowboys amassed 437 total yards while playing without their top two receivers — but Dallas still represents one of the league’s best offenses. Johnathan Abram led the Raiders with 10 tackles. Cory Littleton had nine. Yannick Ngakoue was active up front, totaling a sack and two quarterback hits. The Raiders were stout against the run — Tony Pollard had just 36 yards on 10 carries. Ezekiel Elliott was held to 25 on nine with a score.

Special teams: B-plus

Daniel Carlson was clutch all day — his final and fifth field goal won the game from 29 yards with 4:28 left in overtime. He also made good from 22, 46, 30 and 56 yards. AJ Cole was again terrific, punting five times for an average of 48.6 yards, dropping four inside the 20-yard line. Things were all good until the kick coverage unit allowed a 100-yard return by Pollard for a touchdown, which immediately followed the Mariota score.

Coaching: A

I’m not sure what other grade is warranted, given how well the staff did to prepare the Raiders in just four days and coming off their third straight loss. Greg Olson called a solid game offensively. Remember — interim head coach Rich Bisaccia also coaches special teams, whose side allowed things to leak on the Pollard return. But when you consider where this team was following a loss to the Bengals on Sunday, coming into Dallas and leaving with a Thanksgiving victory is more than memorable.

— Ed Graney, Review-Journal

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