Oakland Raiders Will be Much Better After Bye

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October 6, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders cornerback DJ Hayden (25) intercepts the ball against San Diego Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen (13) during the fourth quarter at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Chargers 27-17. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


The Raiders are finally going to get 2013 1st-round pick D.J. Hayden back and that’s going to bolster their pass defense. He got hurt last year just when he was starting to get it and I believe he will have an affect on both levels of the defense. Chimdi Chekwa, who had a bad game in England vs the Miami Dolphins, should be back to 100 percent to join him.

Those two in tight coverage will eliminate the short, easy completions that Tarrelle Brown an Carlos Rodgers give up in off-man coverage. That will allow the pass rush with guys like Khalil Mack to get sacks and affect throws to force interceptions. Defensive coordinator Jason Tarver also seems a little reluctant to blitz these days because he doesn’t trust his corners.

Chekwa and Hayden aren’t all-stars just yet but their style of play allows Tarver to attack the quarterback with his front-7. His game plans will be more aggressive and based more on trying to win than trying too hard not to get beat. That’s when the defense is at it’s best, flying around and forcing turnovers from the opposing offenses.