Las Vegas Raiders: 3 big questions entering 2021 Week 1
Will the Raiders defense contain Lamar Jackson?
It is hard to tell If the Raiders defense is completely different from a year ago, though, on paper, this unit looks so retooled that it would seem absurd to think it has not improved at the very least. The lackluster pass-rushing unit was injected with the signing of Yannick Ngakoue, who is the most consistent pass rusher the Raiders have had since Khalil Mack.
The secondary saw a complete makeover, with second-round pick safety Tre’Von Moehrig slotting in at the free safety position, and former All-Pro cornerback Casey Hayward Jr. added via free agency. Las Vegas will be very young in the secondary, something that could be an issue against a talented quarterback like Lamar Jackson.
With a slew of injuries during the preseason, it ended up being a reason for revamping that group as well, as it forced the Raiders hand to add linebackers Denzel Perryman and KJ Wright, further strengthening the linebacking corps. Now, all of this does look great on paper, but under a completely new system with defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, can the Raiders provide constant pressure on Lamar Jackson?
This has yet to be seen, and with such an impressive haul on defense, it would seem now, if ever, is the time for the Raiders to solve their recent struggles containing mobile quarterbacks. All signs point to the Raiders giving Jackson and company more of an issue than they would have in the past, but it is still a huge question going into Monday night’s opener.