3 reasons the Raiders will have the best defense in the AFC West in 2022
The New DC
I know it may seem harsh to call Gus Bradley an average Defensive Coordinator, it isn’t a slight at all as you can tell by Bradley’s career you can coach many years and many great players being an at least average coordinator, but Patrick Graham is just a step above Bradley.
Graham has interviewed for head coaching jobs the last two offseasons, and after feeling slightly overlooked by the New York Giants when they hired Brian Daboll instead of him, he went out seeking a lateral move for at least a year or two.
The Raiders’ defense did improve in some ways under Bradley last season but not enough. The Raiders didn’t allow as many big passing plays down the field as they normally have, and the defensive line was able to generate more pressure than usual, but that did not equal more turnovers nor did the Raiders’ sack numbers greatly improve either.
The Raiders only had six interceptions and nine fumble recoveries, generating only 15 total turnovers. The Raiders’ defense also allowed an 81% red zone scoring and had trouble getting off the field on fourth downs as we all saw in Week 18 last season.
Now, if you take a look at the Giants’ defense last season the rankings won’t blow you away, but they were playing with one of the worst offenses of all time last season, and they still performed better than the Raiders’ defense did in many regards. The Giants’ 2020 defense is the one to look at when you want to judge how good a coach Graham is.
Graham has also been rumored to be bringing a 3-4 defense to the Raiders after decades of playing the 4-3 defense although Graham has claimed several times that his defense will be multiple and be in nickel more than anything due to the league changing into a high flying passing game.