Raiders’ Edge-Rushers Will Follow Suit
Similarly to Denver’s Miller and Ware, the Raiders have their own dynamic duo attacking the edges on defense in All-Pro linebacker Khalil Mack and former Seattle Seahawk Bruce Irvin.
Mack and Irvin have combined for seven sacks, six tackles for loss, and five forced fumbles through eight games this season.
The two should only add to that total against the Broncos’ struggling offensive line.
Broncos right tackle Donald Stephenson has fallen victim to practically every edge rusher he has faced this season, failing to meet already low expectations after signing with Denver as a free agent prior to the 2016 season.
Opposite of Stephenson, former Seattle Seahawks left tackle Russell Okung has similarly underwhelmed.
The former Pro Bowler has made ends meet when asked to pave the way for Denver’s ball carriers, earning an 80.3 run blocking grade through eighth games, per PFF.com. However, the same can’t be said for his ability in pass protection, as he has earned one of the league’s lowest pass blocking grades (43.9) among offensive tackles.
This is music to Mack and Irvin’s ears.
If Oakland is going to limit the Broncos’ elite outside receivers on the outside, Mack and Irvin must keep Siemian off his rhythm, as the second-year quarterback has yet to prove that he can accurately throw the football under pressure.
Pushing the ball into Siemian’s hands is the first step; driving him into the turf when he has it will be the final one.