Raiders CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie announces retirement

The Raiders offensive line was so bad in recent weeks it limited plays Jon Gruden was able to call and passes Derek Carr was able to throw. That was especially true against the Seahawks, when the offensive front could do nothing right.

Every member dealt with injuries of varying degrees, which hindered the line to the point where it was barely functional. Carr was sacked six times, hit four more and pressure on seven other occasions, per analytics site Pro Football Focus.

The bye helped everyone’s health save Kelchi Osemele, which produced far better from the offensive front.

“I was really pleased with our line,” Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said in a Monday press conference. “After not playing particularly well collectively in London, that group of five really responded and played well for us yesterday.”

[RELATED: Raiders Report Card]

Derek Carr was pressured just four times and was consequently efficient despite a 42-28 loss to Indianapolis where the defense collapsed in the second half.

Carr completed 75 percent of his passes for 244 yards, three touchdowns and no picks. He didn’t have many plays because the Colts held possession 13 minutes more, but the Raiders were effective throwing the ball. The run also worked well behind Doug Martin, with 103 rushing yards as a team on just 17 carries.

“I think it all starts with pass protection and just balance,” Gruden said. “We had some good runs from Doug Martin. I thought the run blocking was better collectively. I thought we used (tight end) Derek Carrier, we used (fullback) Keith Smith creatively a few times. Got them involved in the game. Derek played well. He time to see the defense, had time to get through the progressions. I thought we had four or five really good drives. Unfortunately we didn’t see the ball enough.”

That, and constant field position losses, make winning games tough. This offense has talent and can produce if the front can block well. Offensive linemen understand this point, and came ready to go.

“Every time you have a chance to play in this league, you want to improve,” Rodney Hudson said. “This was another chance to do that. I thought we made some strides, which is important.”

Rookie left tackle Kolton Miller showed great improvement after giving up six sacks in two games while playing on a bum knee. He looked far stronger in this game, and played well alongside reserve left guard Jon Feliciano

The offensive line was a positive point in this loss, but that’s not what Hudson’s looking for.

“Yeah, we definitely played better than the last time we came out,” the Pro Bowl center said. “At the end of the day, it’s about getting wins. We came up a little short, and that’s frustrating.”

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