When a team is missing any of their starting offensive lineman, there is an expected downtick in offensive production. But, when a team is missing their star offensive tackle, fear begins to stir. Trent Brown missing the game against the red-hot Tennessee Titans certainly worried Raiders fans. The Raiders’ offensive line has not been particularly healthy all season and have held up relatively well. This was not Brown’s first missed game, but it also was not the offensive line’s first time playing without a typical backup getting a start.
Prior to the matchup against the Titans, the Raiders had only allowed three sacks over their last two games, which coincidentally holds true to their Raiders’ sacks allowed average all season (1.5 sacks per game).
Against the Titans, the Raiders would allow two sacks and commit minimal holding penalties. The Raiders were also missing potential Rookie of the Year running back Josh Jacobs, but the offensive line did an impeccable job of continuing to create space for DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard while creating time for Derek Carr.
There are a lot of accusations flying around and fingers being pointed inside the Oakland Raiders organization. Yet, the accusations and fingers need to find victims outside of the offensive line as they have been one of the most consistent position groups this year.
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Two sacks allowed but establishing the run game could be considered as one of the better case scenarios. The most the Raiders missed Trent Brown might have been when the Raiders had four chances to score inside the Titans’ five-yard line, but that could have been due to missing Jacobs as well. Overall, the Raiders’ offensive line showed up enough to keep them in the game. Which is more than could be said about a majority of the team. Time and time again, with or without Trent Brown, the Raiders offensive line has produced.
Jon Gruden has mentioned changes coming on the horizon, but fans should hope the offensive line avoids as much change as possible. This has been an incredible improvement from last season, where the Raiders allowed 52 sacks. They are now projected to allow 24 by the end of the season. Obviously, this team is better with Trent Brown. This game against the Titans was a one-game sample size in which the Raiders’ offensive line did step up. But, throughout this season, Trent Brown has played during our more offensively successful games. There is a level of dominance that Brown brings to the field that the Raiders’ replacements simply cannot match.