Las Vegas Raiders at Denver Broncos: 3 things we learned in 2020 Week 17
By Nick Bailey
The defense still needs a lot of work
A 92-yard touchdown reception by a rookie who had five drops in the previous game to almost losing this game, that’s what the defense did on Sunday, and that’s what the defense has become known for during this late-season collapse for the Raiders. When the Broncos got the ball back with 25 seconds left on the clock, I know we were all thinking that they had left too much time on the clock for the Broncos offense, and you know what, it almost was.
Defensive end Maxx Crosby, combined with Arden Key, blocked his second Brandon McManus kick of the game, mercilessly ending the game and the season for the Raiders.
The defense finished with one sack, and zero turnovers against a team, and a quarterback in Drew Lock that loves to give the ball to the other team. They also generated very little pressure, and that horrendous defensive miscommunication that caused the 92-yard catch and run by Jerry Jeudy was really the perfect cherry on top of the cake for the defense.
It’s easy to say it was all the coaching, and a new defensive coordinator will step in and right the ship, and that could be the case, as there is talent on this defense, but they just look downright lost at times.
Cory Littleton has played much better under Marinelli than he ever did under Paul Guenther, Crosby had seven sacks after being double-teamed most of the year, Clelin Ferrell stepped up and had a ton of pressures, becoming very important to the run game, and Trayvon Mullen has a chance to be one of the better corners in all the league. The Raiders need to nail the defensive coordinator hire this time around, or else Jon Gruden’s second stint with the Raiders will continue to be unsuccessful.