Las Vegas Raiders 2020 early season grades: The Defense

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Raiders Damon Arnette

Raiders need to get healthy coming out of the bye week (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The Las Vegas Raiders are 3-2 heading into their bye week, let’s take a look at how the defense has performed so far in the first five games of the season.

The Las Vegas Raiders defense underwent a major overhaul this summer with a host of new pieces at nearly every position. Players were either signed or drafted to start on the defensive line, linebacker, and all over the defensive backfield.

These new players have taken time to gel and learn Paul Guenther’s system and those struggles have shown up in the stats.

As of Week 5, the Raiders defense is currently 28th overall in total defense in the NFL, 26th in total yards, 29th in total points, and 14th in plays run against them. They are 21st in first downs allowed and are 24th in total penalties with 32 in five games.

These penalties have been incredible costly as they are last in the NFL in defensive penalty yardage with 402 but somehow only 10 of those penalties have resulted in a first down.

With all of these negative yardage stats it makes sense that the Raiders would be in the bottom of the NFL in terms of points given up and they are currently 28th in the league at 30.2 points per game. Part of that is the fact that 3 of their opponents are in the top 10 in total offense so there is hope that these numbers should improve when they play lesser opponents.

The other factor that should give Raiders fans some hope is that the unit seems to be starting to click as they put together a great performance in the second half against Kansas City in Week 5. The team should also be getting back defensive tackles Mo Hurst and Maliek Collins from injury after the bye week.

The defense will continue to be a concern throughout the year but let’s see how the individual units have performed through five weeks starting with the defensive line.

Overall Defense Grade: C-

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