Raiders’ Front Four Remain Strong
It can’t be all bad news on the defensive side of the ball for the Silver and Black, right?
Raiders interior defensive lineman Stacy McGee managed to shine through an otherwise disastrous performance defensively, earning a 83.8 overall grade with three combined tackles and an early sack on Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan early in the first quarter.
Though fellow Raiders defensive tackles Denico Autry and Dan Williams have seen more snaps along the interior in the past, McGee’s breakout performance could push him into an increased role in the following weeks.
Former third-round pick Justin Ellis also had a solid day in the trenches, for he was awarded the third highest grade among Oakland’s defensive players (76.6).
Outside of McGee and Ellis, Raiders edge-rushers Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin have performed well through two games. Mack, coming off a solid 76.5 overall grade in last week’s matchup against New Orleans, earned Oakland’s top defensive grade of the day at 84.7.
Irvin, on the other hand, couldn’t improve upon his 82.2 overall grade in Week 1, but he still finished with the Raiders’ fourth highest grade on defense (72.4.).
Despite their consistent production, the two had little to no affect on Ryan and Atlanta’s passing attack, as they both failed to put relatively any pressure on the quarterback through four quarters.
Because Mack and Irvin have earned solid grades against the run (75.8 and 80.6, respectively), the two are still highlighted by PFF as top performers in this game, but their lack of impact in the passing game will cost Oakland games down the road if it isn’t improved, especially if the Raiders’ woes in the secondary continue.