Karl Joseph Survives Phillip Rivers’ Tests…Barely
Raiders rookie safety Karl Joseph has performed well since replacing veteran Keith McGill in the starting lineup in Week 3, and his success continued against San Diego Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers.
Though Joseph did give up five completions for 71 yards and a touchdown, he kept at it, finishing the game with six combined tackles (three solo), a fumble recovery, and an interception.
Joseph, highly regarded for his hard-hitting ability and his play against the run, is still experiencing some growing pains in zone coverage, but he has been a standout performer in man coverage and in run support.
According to PFF.com Joseph earned the third-highest defensive grade (79.8) among Raiders defenders.
Coming off a season-ending knee injury in his final year at West Virginia, Joseph understands the importance of improving with each week.
"“Most definitely. I think each week I go out there I feel more comfortable,” Joseph said. “I trust the process. I’m still bothered a bit with the knee, so I just have to keep trusting the process, keep going and getting better every week.”"
With the way things have been going for Oakland defensively, Raiders fans want to lean on Joseph to make plays and provide an instant spark on the defensive side of the ball, but if he is going to reach his maximum potential, he needs to take on the NFL one step at a time.
Earning his first career interception against a future Hall of Fame quarterback like Rivers is one of those steps.