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Midseason Report Card

The Raidersblog team gives their grades at the midway point of the season.

Quarterback

Chris Hansen: B
Brandon Dwonch: C - (Incomplete)
Nick Silverman: B-
Natalie Saar: C - (Boller D)
Bram Makonda: C+
Jeff Fagen: B
Overall GPA: 2.5

Jason Campbell played his game and did it well enough until he got injured. Carson Palmer, given ample time to learn the offense, tossed three touchdowns and had such command of the offense he was audibling at the line. The grade can be considered incomplete for now, but with significant room to grow.

Runningback/Fullback

Chris Hansen: A-
Brandon Dwonch: A-
Nick Silverman: B+
Natalie Saar: A
Bram Makonda: A-
Jeff Fagen: A
Overall GPA: 3.8

Darren McFadden held the league lead in rushing until his injury against Kansas City. Michael Bush is a great replacement back and can consistently put up 100-yard days. Marcel Reece injury really hurt the offense, but he's as good as they come at the position. Richard Gordon and Manase Tonga have done a good job as blocking fullbacks. I'd like to see a bit more of Taiwan Jones, but that's of minor concern with this group.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Chris Hansen: B-
Brandon Dwonch: B
Nick Silverman: B
Natalie Saar: B-
Bram Makonda: B
Jeff Fagen: C+
Overall GPA: 2.8

Emergence of Darrius Heyward-Bey, the emergence of Denarius Moore, the injury of Jacoby Ford and then re-emergence of Ford against the Broncos. Signing T.J. Houshmandzadeh to be a veteran. Schilens has stayed healthy. A lot of talent here, but the group hasn't been consistent enough and Hue Jackson seems content to rotate them based on matchups. I'd like to see two of these guys develop to a point that they merit the majority of the playing time. The tight ends drag this down. Kevin Boss isn't even getting on the field and you have to wonder if a Palmer-run offense needs one. Brandon Myers hasn't done anything notable. What gives?

Offensive Line

Chris Hansen: A
Brandon Dwonch: A-
Nick Silverman: A
Natalie Saar: C
Bram Makonda: B+
Jeff Fagen: B+
Overall GPA: 3.3

It's almost amazing how fast this unit has come together. There are a few signs of weakness lately, but overall this unit has been magnificent. This unit was able to run block in the past, but when it came to protecting the passer they didn't get the job done. This season the offensive line has been able to pass protect in addition to run blocking. It's a remarkable turnaround for being one of biggest questions this offseason. The unit has been playing at a high level and they get extra love for an unexpected jump.

Defensive Line

Chris Hansen: B
Brandon Dwonch: C-
Nick Silverman: C-
Natalie Saar: B
Bram Makonda: C+
Jeff Fagen: C-
Overall GPA: 2.3

Not nearly up to expectations when it comes to rushing the passer, but aside from the atrocity in Oakland last week they have done a solid job stopping the run. Considering the loss of Matt Shaughnessy for the season this unit has still played pretty well, particularly up the middle. There is certainly room for improvement, but don't sleep on this group in the second half.

Linebackers

Chris Hansen: D+
Brandon Dwonch: D
Nick Silverman: C-
Natalie Saar: B-
Bram Makonda: C
Jeff Fagen: D
Overall GPA: 1.7

Flashes here and there from the group of linebackers. If Wimbley as a pass rusher is considered in this grade it would be higher. Groves was replaced by Curry. Curry and McClain show flashes, but haven't gotten the job done consistently. Too many missed tackles, missed gaps, and poor coverage.

Secondary

Chris Hansen: C
Brandon Dwonch: C
Nick Silverman: C-
Natalie Saar: C+
Bram Makonda: C
Jeff Fagen: C-
Overall GPA: 2.0

The only consensus among the Raidersblog staff. The secondary is in transition and hasn't been healthy. Stanford Routt and Tyvon Branch have been solid, but too many yards have been given up in the air. Michael Huff and Chris Johnson haven't played up to expectations. There is potential for better play here, with young players ready to break into the lineup and players getting healthy.

Kicking, Punting & Special Teams Coverage

Chris Hansen: B-
Brandon Dwonch: C+
Nick Silverman: B
Natalie Saar: A
Bram Makonda: C+
Jeff Fagen:  B
Overall GPA: 2.8

Sebastian Janikowski is one of the best. So is Shane Lechler. Too bad the coverage units really drag down the grade here.

Kick Return/Punt Return

Chris Hansen: C+
Brandon Dwonch: C+
Nick Silverman: B-
Natalie Saar: B
Bram Makonda: B
Jeff Fagen: C
Overall GPA: 2.5

Aside from one Jacoby Ford return touchdown the return game hasn't done a lot to help the Raiders. Punt returns have been terrible all season. Huge room for improvement.

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