Through the summer, we have highlighted various stats that the Raiders need to improve upon. Yet, today’s number may not appear everywhere, but if corrected will make winning much easily. Below, you will find the number that opens the door to the Raiders defense. If Oakland fixes this issue, the team automatically becomes that AFC headache.
In 2017, the Oakland Raiders allowed nearly 34 yards per drive on defense. That is to say, no matter where the opposing offense stood, the Raiders surrendered three first downs. On its face, that stat screams needed regime change. Luckily, the Silver and Black gutted the coaches, hitting reset. Here’s how that 33.43 yards declines
- Primarily, the pass rush needs to get home. In addition, Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin cannot be the only ones providing pressure. The Raiders spent draft capital on multiple picks and stocked the line with a mix of talent. Plus, Arden Key cannot take the usual rookie pace. Typically, good teams can send pass rushers in waves. Look at the Eagles. That defensive did not tire due to depth.
- Along with edge help, the Raiders need an actual three-technique DT to grab a spot. Mo Hurst, on paper fills that spot. On the other hand, people want to throw Mario Edwards into the mix. Honestly, his injury history prohibits realistic conversation. With that said, Vanderdoes, Hester, Hall, etc need to crush the pocket. Meanwhile, Jelly Ellis must continue strong play.
- For the entirety of the Reggie McKenzie Era, the Raiders failed to stop tight ends from destroying the seam. Why? Awful linebacker choices and a lack of talent. Derrick Johnson will run. Let him shadow.Also, who else will?
- Above all, coaching matters. Ken Norton could ranks as the worst DC in team history. Paul Guenther is an upgrade. From a scheme standpoint, Guenther leaves nothing up to chance. By aggressively playing down and armed with better secondary help, Guenther can afford to take more chances without fear of being gashed.
In 2017, the Raiders tired on defense. Teams would convert third down and extend drives. Now, that number will bear watching. If the Raiders are succeeding, that number will rapidly decline. In reality, a season hinges on this stat.