Interior Defensive Line Needs Help.
With Oakland’s abysmal performance against the run leaving a bad taste in the Raider Nation’s mouth, some will look to point fingers at their rotating carousel within their interior defensive line. However, the Raiders’ play in the trenches has proved stronger than that of wooden horses.
Veteran defensive tackles Dan Williams and Denico Autry led the charge, as the two often pushed Houston’s offensive linemen into the backfield, often forcing the Texans’ ball carriers to second guess their lane choice in the backfield.
Williams and Autry combined for five solo tackles and two tackles for loss.
Behind Williams and Autry, fourth-year defensive end Stacy McGee and third-year nose tackle Justin Ellis followed suit. McGee flashed in the backfield in his first game back since Week 7, and Ellis held his own at the line of scrimmage and two combined tackles.
Deeper down the depth chart, rookie second-round pick Jihad Ward has failed to make a positive impact despite seeing a significant snap count, but Oakland has still managed to have success up front because of the strength of the men listed ahead of him.
With second-year defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. expected to join the Raiders’ defensive line towards the end of this season, Oakland should see a spike in production, but as of now, their defensive line is exceeding expectations.