Oakland Raiders 2015 Preview: Playmakers forming defensive identity

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August 30, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio (left) argues with NFL line judge Ed Walker (123) during the fourth quarter in a preseason NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals at O.co Coliseum. The Cardinals defeated the Raiders 30-23. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Bottom Line

Head coach Jack Del Rio has come in and turned the Raiders defense into an old-school Raiders defense. They can stop the run now to force 3rd-and-long in order to get after your quarterback and force turnovers. Playing defense in the NFL is really that simple if you have the playmakers to do it.

And along with those playmakers, you have to have some strong role players to accomplish the mission. And now, the Raiders have five playmakers on their defense and if the role players hold up, this will be a championship defense. Right now, I’d say the Raiders have a playoff defense but relax, that doesn’t mean the Raiders are going.

Derek Carr is still a young quarterback and running back Latavius Murray can’t be banked on yet. Carr will have Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree at the receivers to increase the likelihood of his success. Then if Murray can handle being the be a bell-cow and Clive Walford gets healthy, there’s not telling what can happen.

That’s a lot of ifs though so we should taper our expectations.

It’s just hope, but that is something Raiders fans haven’t had in a while. This defense has the team on the right track with pieces in place to make it one of the better units in the league, the next step is taking those pieces to success during the regular season.