Raider Recap: Defense (Week 9)


There is only so many ways I can write the same article.  So, a note to the Raiders defense: stop making the same stupid mistakes!!!  I don’t care if they start giving up 300 yards a game through the air; if you’re not going to stop making the same old mistakes, at least start making new ones, because praising and bashing them for the same things every week is really getting old.

It looks to me like the Raiders defense is playing too soft on third downs.  They’re destroying their opponents on first and second down, but getting run over on third.  The Oakland Raiders defense set the tone early on last Sunday, giving up a 3rd and 18 screen pass only 4 minutes into the game.  The pass was thrown at the Houston Texans’ 33 yard line, and was taken by a slightly above average Ahman Green, 53 yards to the Raiders 14.   It was clear to me after that play the Raiders’ D hadn’t fixed the problem I continue to stress the most.  It doesn’t matter how many rushing yards opponents pick up against the Raiders, as long as the pass protection stays one of the best.  But what really matters is getting off the field on third down. 

I’m starting to question Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan, and only because of the obvious problems at hand: the Raiders can’t stop the run, even though they often have 8 men in the box, and they can’t get off the field on third down, even though they usually put their opponents in third and long situations.  And what kills me the most is that I know this defense is still so talented that even solving only one of these problems would put the Raiders in a better position to win.  There has also been a problem with giving up too many big plays, but I think the big plays only happen due to a lack of run defense, and the space that is created when opponents spread the field on 3rd and long. 

Maybe Ryan needs to do the opposite of everything he’d usually do.  Like blitzing on 3rd, and running downs when he’d normally not.  Or stacking more blitz packages to Derrick Burgess’ side to possibly open more lanes to the quarterback.   

Solve a problem, any problem.  Just do something.