Raiders Have Enjoyed One Very Pleasant Surprise Along Their Struggling Offensive Line

The Raiders’ offensive line has been a mess this year, but not everyone in the team’s offensive trenches has been a disappointment.

Fresh off a three-year, $54 million contract extension, Kolton Miller is having the best season of his four-year career and is the second-highest graded player on the Raiders’ offense (Pro Football Focus). Miller’s season isn’t necessarily a surprise, though, because he has been trending upward since his rookie year.

What has been a pleasant surprise is the play of center Andre James.

This offseason, James was moving toward another year buried behind Pro Bowl center Rodney Hudson until the Raiders’ unexpectedly traded Hudson to the Cardinals. It was enough of a gamble to replace Hudson with an unproven 23 year-old, but the Raiders then decided to double down and give James a two-year extension.

The results were mixed early in the season, but James has become the second-most reliable offensive lineman on the Raiders’ roster. Even as the wheels were falling off against the Chiefs on Sunday, James turned in one of his best games of the year.

PFF Las Vegas Raiders on Twitter: “Andre James kept Derek Carr clean against the Chiefs 🙌☠ 85.4 Pass Blocking Grade (1st among Centers in Week 14)☠ 0 pressures or sacks allowed / Twitter”

Andre James kept Derek Carr clean against the Chiefs 🙌☠ 85.4 Pass Blocking Grade (1st among Centers in Week 14)☠ 0 pressures or sacks allowed

For what it’s worth, James (61.6) has a better overall PFF grade than Hudson (55.2) this year. James has turned in 70+ overall grades in 5 of his last 7 games and is looking like he might become one of the cornerstones of the Raiders’ offensive line for years to come.

The challenge now?

Figure out a way to develop Brandon Parker and Alex Leatherwood into something other than the two worst pass-blocking linemen in the NFL.

twitter: @raidersbeat


32 thoughts on “Raiders Have Enjoyed One Very Pleasant Surprise Along Their Struggling Offensive Line

    1. If anything hasn’t Leatherwood been playing better since moved to guard? Yeah Carr has been getting sacked at least once a drive which isn’t good at all .. Leatherwood! Kolton! James! Parker Simpson! Someone isn’t doing there job!!! Where the **** is Ingonito that motherf***** is lazy asf and makes excuses to why he can’t play on Sundays

    2. We actually need fans that know the game..So in this case Get rid of you..
      Get rid of Derek Carr ? You have lost your mind..

    3. ok I get your not a Carr fan, but that does not solve anything, next one up is going to feel the rath of the right side failure. I’m sure you will say to put Mariotta in cause he can run, but he can only run so far, 1 or 2 games in and every DC will figure out where he is going. The Raiders need an OC with some imagination and i will say that for what it is worth, I do believe the Raiders should have a number of schemes for both Mariotta and Carr.

    4. Carr is not the problem. No offensive line is the problem. Carr runs for his life on passing plays. Do you even watch the games?

  1. Going with this makeshift OL pretty much doomed as chance of a winning season. More proof that Davis didn’t have a clue when he gave Gruden the keys to the team. The Raiders showed marginal to no improvement under Gruden.

  2. Taking a look at the offensive line, thr right side of the line was the bright spot of it . The left side with Parker and Leatherwood was just standing around blocking no one. These two need to be released after the Browns game. DC hasn’t gotten hurt yet. He probably leads the league for being sacked the most.

  3. Get rid of carr **** that hes not the problem . Carr is great get rid of dropped passes get rid of bad protection running wrong patterns but most of all get rid of the sorry *** refs and nfl who screws us always the real problem they hate raider NATION and make sure to do us dirty. We have to play a team the refs and nfl every week. Carr not the problem that’s crazy. Raider Nation forever no matter win or lose

  4. i think carr is a top 10 qb without a oline how would brady do behind the raiders line he would get smashed need to get o line fixed in draft an line backerswide outs can be got an good ones 5-7 rds an backs aman named terriel davis 6th rd pick

  5. I like how these guys are progressing. Very young. Patience pays off. WR issues of late do not make it any easier for them. Pups grow into dawgs. Give them a minute. P&P…jwb…AL

  6. Steal Steve keim away from the raiders. Let him do his job Davis sit in your office quit interfering and your team will rebound

  7. Still Steve time away from the Cardinals let him do his job Davis stay in the background let it good coach do his job Cincinnati bearcat coach would be nice or wait Seattle will get rid of their coach

  8. Carr a good quarterback but trade him to a team that will appreciate him and later regret that they treated him like they have. As so many x former raiders

  9. Get rid of your comments and your a problem solved. Tom Cable should’ve been put in as head coach. I hope Mark recognizes this and it should lead to more wins. Even this season, perhaps. Al Davis had Tom Cable as a head coach in the past and Al always stressed continuity.

  10. Let’s get one thing straight. The offensive line is a unit. If your weak, the entire unit is weak. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. I have seen every game that have been on T.V. I have seen Kolton Miller not finish his blocking assignment on pass plays. I have seen RB’s
    like Jacobs have to run past Kolton Miller when he was pulling and supposed lead the running back. So, let’s be fair to everybody. The offensive line is one unit. We all are giving
    it our best effort for we fail. The Raider offensive line has been failing, all of them.

  11. Essentials to Winning. An offense and defensive line and a Quarterback however the raiders have gone crazy WASTING top picks year after year on D-backs. The coaching staff and QB seem to have lost the team. As of now the only way to avoid a 5 year rebuild is to SPEND on a dynamic QB who has won and commands respect. We know who they are. . In a travel destination like LV a loser will lose their home field advantage real quick !

  12. Management sucks we wasted so many first round picks and overpaid for mediocre free agents. This has been happening for far too long.

  13. The OL is one of many problems that have plagued the Raiders in recent years. However, to say that Derek Carr is Tom Bradyesque behind a good to great OL is again, another overreach. Behind a good OL Carr will look better, but not by much. He still has a horrible QB IQ, makes the wrong decision at the wrong time, and still hasn’t proven he’s a reliable playoff QB.

    Under a good to great OL just gives Carr the ability to put the Raiders in the Wild Card position in the playoffs, and then see him disappear in them.

    People cite his good statistics as a measure of success. The basketball payer Russell Westbrook puts up decent to good numbers as well, but he’s not a champion caliber player………just like Derek Carr.

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