The final decade of Oakland Raiders football has come to an end, and here is our All-Decade team for the defensive side of the ball.
As we wrap up our All-Decade teams for the Oakland Raiders during the 2010s, we shift our focus to the defense and special teams. The defense boasted arguably the best player in the decade for the Raiders, edge rusher Khalil Mack, who was traded away prior to the 2018 NFL season.
While the Raiders did not rack up many wins during the 2010s, making only one playoff appearance, they did feature some of the better players in football. Guys like Mack and Nnamdi Asomugha were some of the better players in the league at their respective positions, and they certainly have their place on our All-Decade team.
Looking ahead to the new decade, there will be a brand new era of Raiders football, as they make their way to Sin City and become the Las Vegas Raiders. Hopefully, this team can be better on this side of the ball moving forward, as the defense played a huge role in the failures of their organization over the last ten seasons.
Here is our 2010s All-Decade team for the Raiders defense.
EDGE: Khalil Mack
Khalil Mack played for four seasons with the Raiders, becoming arguably the best player in the NFL at that time. Despite a slow rookie season in 2014, Mack recorded double-digit sacks in 2015, 2016, and 2017, as well as a career-high 15 sacks in 2015.
Mack was selected to the pro bowl in 2015, 2016, and 2017, as well as being named to first-team All-Pro in 2015 and 2016. Incredibly, Mack was a First-Team All-Pro at two different positions during that 2015 season, and would go on to be named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year the next season.
DT: Richard Seymour
Richard Seymour played for the Raiders from 2009 to 2012, being named to the Pro Bowl in two of those seasons. Seymour played both defensive end and defensive tackle for the team, and although the Raiders had little success in this time, Seymour was one of the few bright spots on the team.
Seymour recorded 18.5 sacks in his time as a Raider, being one of the few good pass rushers the Raiders have had in this decade. He may not have had his best years in the Silver and Black, but he made his mark, especially when he punched Ben Roethlisberger during the 2010 NFL season.
DT: Tommy Kelly
Tommy Kelly was a part of the Raiders for a long time, playing for the team from 2004 to 2012. In the few seasons that Kelly played for the Raiders in this decade, he played his best football, and earned his spot on our All-Decade team.
In 2010, Kelly recorded seven sacks as a defensive tackle, as well as seven and a half in 2011. Kelly may be one of the most underrated Raiders of this decade, getting to the quarterback as well as any other player the team has had in recent memory.
EDGE: Lamarr Houston
The Raiders have not had many good pass rushers this decade, so Lamarr Houston is going to have to do here. Houston played for the Raiders from 2010 to 2013, recording 16.5 sacks in that time, and was the heart and soul of some of those early 2010s Raiders football teams.
Houston had his best season with the Raiders in his final year there in 2013, recording six sacks and forced two fumbles before leaving for the Chicago Bears in 2014. An instant starter as a rookie, Houston played on some pretty bad Raiders teams, but started all but four games during his time in the Silver and Black, while missing zero games.
LB: Bruce Irvin
Bruce Irvin played for the Raiders from 2016 to 2018 and was a perfect complement to Khalil Mack in that time. Irvin was used more as a pass rusher in his time with the Raiders. Irvin made his biggest impact in 2016 and 2017, recording 15 sacks in that time.
Not only was Irvin great at getting to the QB, but he was best known for his ability to force fumbles. Irvin forced six fumbles in 2016, as well as four more in 2017. If the Raiders would have kept Mack and Irving together, who knows what would have happened.
LB: Tahir Whitehead
As much hate as Tahir Whitehead gets, he has been as solid of a linebacker as the Raiders have had this decade. Although Whitehead has struggled in coverage, he has recorded over 100 tackles in both 2018 and 2019.
Whitehead recorded 126 tackles in his first season with the Raiders, as well as getting an interception in that season. Whitehead also went for 108 tackles this season, as well as being a great leader in the last two seasons of the decade.
LB: Kamerion Wimbley
The Raiders have not had many great linebackers in this decade, but Kamerion Wimbley is one player that Raiders fans have forgotten about that could have made a real impact on this team. Wimbley could play multiple positions, but we will put him at linebacker for the sake of this list.
Wimbley played for the Raiders in 2010 and 2011 where he recorded 16 total sacks in just two seasons, something that we have not seen from many Raiders in that time.
CB: Nnamdi Asomugha
Nnamdi Asomugha played for the Raiders from 2003 to 2010, meaning he only played one season this decade for the team. With that being said, the Raiders corners have been awful this decade, and in ten years, none have done what Asomugha did in that one season.
In 2010, Asomugha was not only named to the Pro Bowl but was also selected as first-team All-Pro. Asomugha was the best cornerback in football for the Raiders before leaving for the Eagles in 2011, and it has been hard for the team to fill the void he left since.
CB: David Amerson
The Raiders have been awful at cornerback this decade, as it has been one of the main reasons the Raiders have struggled so heavily. David Amerson was one of my least favorite players on the team while he played, but he did do some good things, and earns a spot here.
When Amerson came to the Raiders in 2015, he recorded four interceptions, as well as having six in his career as a Raider, to go along with breaking up 41 passes. Amerson would not make the All-Decade team on most NFL teams, but in a decade where the Raiders struggled at cornerback, he was one of the best of the bunch.
FS: Charles Woodson
Charles Woodson will forever be a legend for the Raiders. Woodson returned to the Raiders in 2013 and played until 2015 where he had one of his best seasons. Charles Woodson is surely a future Hall of Famer and is an avid supporter for the team.
From 2013-2015, Woodson recorded ten interceptions, defended 20 passes, forced four fumbles, and was named to the Pro Bowl in his final season at 39 years old. Nobody can forget him leaving the Coliseum for the very last time putting up the "O" symbol to the Raiders faithful.
SS: Tyvon Branch
Tyvon Branch played for the Raiders from 2008 to 2014, although he rarely played in his final two seasons with the Raiders. The Raiders have not had many great safeties this decade, but before injuries, Branch had promise.
Branch recorded an interception in every season from 2010 to 2012, as well as recording five sacks in that time. He played the game the right way, was never afraid to go in and make the big tackle, and one can only wonder what could have been.
Sebastian Janikowski played for the Raiders from 2000 to 2016 where he was one of the best kickers in the NFL for the majority of his career. In 2011, Janikowski was named to the Pro Bowl. He made over 90% of his kicks in 2012, 89% in 2011, and over 80% six times in this decade.
Janikowski was known for his leg power, kicking 50 plus yarders time and time again, as well as a record 63 yarder in 2011. Unfortunately for the Raiders, Seabass also had a tendency of missing the easy ones, but based on the love shown when he lit Al's torch this season, his spot in Raiders history is safe.
Shane Lechler was the punter for the Raiders from 2000 to 2012, becoming one of the greatest punters in NFL history. The Raiders will likely never have a better punter than Lechler, as even late in his career he was arguably one of the best players on the roster.
In 2010, Lechler was named to the Pro Bowl and selected to the first-team all-pro. In 2011, Lechler made the Pro Bowl again, and while he would end up leaving for his hometown Houston Texans, he is not only one of the greatest punters in team history, but could find himself in Canton one day.