Oakland Raiders: Why Halfway is a Great Time To Measure Progress

We are 4-4 heading into Week 9. It has been one heck of a roller coaster ride to this point. With the easy part of our schedule over and the always tough back nine looming, here is a look at the good and bad of our season.

Obviously we have found quite a few playmakers and answered some questions about some players. We have shown dramatic improvement from the last seven years and seem to be headed in the right direction. We should be 5-3 heading into this weekend, but we are 4-4. I’ll start with the offensive line.

Our O-line has shown dramatic improvement and much of it has to do with continuity among the positions. This time last year we were playing musical players because of injuries. While this year has not been injury-free, we have had pretty good consistency. Our line is built to run-block, with the weakness still being pass-blocking. 

Jared Veldheer has looked pretty good over at left tackle; he is a monster in the run game. However, he is having a little trouble in pass protection, much of which can be expected from a rookie who is transitioning from D-2 to the NFL. Mario Henderson is a good backup and capable of filling in when needed. Robert Gallery is a monster, and if he stays healthy would make the Pro Bowl. 

Daniel Loper is a very good backup and can dominate in the run game.  Samson Satele has shown improvement, but still struggles against pass blocking those big dominating nose tackles, but so do many centers when left one-on-one.  Cooper Carlisle has looked very good when pulling and is still serviceable, but is one of our significant weaknesses in pass protection. We do have a good young stud in Bruce Campbell, learning to play with technique and leverage behind him, though. 

Langston Walker has been tremendously better at right tackle than I thought he would be.  He can still get tremendous push, but struggles with speed rushers. Kalif Barnes has ...

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