‘Carr Insurance’ Offers Full Coverage
Oakland’s big, physical offensive line entered Sunday’s contest expected to continue their reign over the trenches against a Buccaneers defense that stood little chance in the affair.
The Raiders’ trench warriors effectively met expectations, leaving Tampa Bay’s defensive line in their respective seats.
"“Oakland’s starting offensive line was only charged with giving up seven [quarterback] hurries and one sack which played a huge factor in Derek Carr’s strong performance,” via John Breitenbach of PFF.com. “ [Right guard] Gabe Jackson was the sole weak link as he was beat a few times in pass pro when Carr got rid of the ball quickly, but even he only surrendered two true [quarterback] hurries.”"
Jackson’s underwhelming performance kept him from the PFF’s top performers list, leaving room for the rest of Oakland’s offensive line to enjoy the limelight.
With Carr obviously headlining as the Raiders’ top offensive player, center Rodney Hudson (79.5), guard Kelechi Osemele (76.9), and tackles Donald Penn (78.3) and Austin Howard (75.9) rounded out PFF’s top five list.
Though Howard did give up a costly strip-sack against Tampa Bay’s rookie edge-rusher Noah Spence late in the first quarter, he improved as the game progressed, ultimately giving Carr enough time in the pocket to lead the Raiders to a comeback victory.
Also, Oakland’s success in the trenches wasn’t limited to the passing attack, as their slew of backs averaged 5.3 yards per carry on 24 attempts on the ground.
Opposite of Howard, Penn prevented Tampa Bay’s edge-rushers from reaching Carr’s blindside with great consistency, and he even extended his impact to the scoreboard.
The longtime Buccaneer brought in a one-yard touchdown pass from Carr to open up the second half against his former team.
"“We ran a naked, I blocked down,” Penn said in an effort to describe his touchdown reception. “Everybody went to the right and I just came back out. I had to move a couple people out of the way. Then DC [Derek Carr] put a nice ball in the air and I was wide open for a touchdown.”"
Even when pushing Penn’s touchdown aside, the Raiders’ offensive line has been unwavering in their ability to play at a high level with noticeable consistency through eight weeks this season.
Their performance against Tampa Bay was simply another notch in their belt.