Oakland Raiders Will be Much Better After Bye

4 of 9

Aug 23, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders linebacker Nick Roach (53) sacks Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) after Cutler bobbled the snap during the second quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Raiders Miss Roach

While middle linebacker Nick Roach was out, with the exception of one decent game, all Miles Burris did in his stead was make us miss Roach. And I’m going to walk my 200-pound body out on a thin limb and say that Roach will be back after the bye. I have to believe that because if he isn’t, not only will the Raiders run defense be horrible but it may also be the end of his career.

The Raiders gave up 157 yards on the ground last Sunday and 400 in the first two games of the season without Roach. The only good game the Raiders had against the run was against the soft offensive line that the New England Patriots line, giving up only 76 yards in Week three. But run defense is far from the only value the Raiders have in him as he’s a good blitzer up the middle and excellent in coverage.

He’s also the quarterback of the defense, making checks and getting the defense lined up properly for a given play. The Raiders were No. 15 in run defense last year with Roach in the middle and these first four games without him they’re No. 31. You don’t just measure middle linebackers by tackling numbers, you have to measure them by the rank of their run defense.

And if the Raiders keep the 3-4 base, Bojay Flilimoeatu should be inside with him.