3 Reasons the Las Vegas Raiders will make the playoffs in 2021
Reason #3: Defense, defense, defense. . .
As surprising as it is to say, considering the last twenty years of Raiders’ football, the only thing that the Silver and Black have been able to count on game in and game out this season is the defense.
Regardless of the off-the-field noise and on-field inconsistencies on offense, Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue have made every game a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks. The Raiders are leading the NFL in quarterback pressures, and it is largely thanks to their two star EDGE defenders.
Ngakoue leads the Raiders with eight sacks and has three different multi-sack games this season. Crosby leads the entire NFL in both pressures and hurries and is proving himself as one of the top defenders in the league.
On the back end, the Raiders boast two of the top-graded cornerbacks in the NFL, according to PFF, in Casey Hayward and Nate Hobbs. In addition, rookie Trevon Moehrig grades as one of the top free safeties in coverage.
The Raiders finally have a respectable, if not quite good, defense. The unit can keep them in games, even when the offense struggles. This is something that Las Vegas has been missing in their past playoff pushes.
With the luxury of a defense that can be counted on, the Raiders’ playoff hopes can almost solely rely on Derek Carr and the offense continuing to be effective. Compared to years past, it is a much more enviable position to be in.
If the Raiders end 2021 in the postseason, the defense will arguably be the biggest reason for it.