The Las Vegas Raiders defense will need to be hitting on all cylinders come Week 1 as they take on the Chargers’ explosive offense.
New defensive coordinator Patrick Graham came to Las Vegas for this very opportunity to face off with the explosive offense in the AFC West. He will get to see one of them right out of the gate in Week 1, going up against Los Angeles Chargers star quarterback, Justin Herbert.
NFL rankings of the top-nine offenses had the Chargers at No. 2, as they are well balanced, using tight formations to gain leverage, and utilize the outbreaking quick game to get Keenan Allen and Mike Williams in space along with more run gaps to fill.
Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones, along with Denzyl Perryman, will present many problems in the passing game and run game for the Chargers.
Raiders new-look defense will be tested in Week 1 against Justin Herbert
Chargers Offensive Staples
Tight formations enable the Chargers to create natural rub routes, making the defense sit in a zone allowing free release. Graham will have to devise a plan to have outside leverage against the tight formation’s passing the mesh concepts along with the shallow crosses to the linebacker. The Chargers want to isolate the flat defender and work off of that with wheel routes as the receives clear the corner and safety to one side freeing up the flat.
This also allows the Chargers to use tempo, as the defense has to communicate and put themselves in a position to not be out-leveraged, and Los Angeles is very effective while using tempo out of the heavy tight formation sets.
Communication and a sense of awareness will be key for the secondary and linebackers as they will try to free up the flat and catch the linebackers fading with the 1 or 2 in coverage.
The secondary will need quick processing ability along with communication to pick up the stick and flat combos they love to use out of the tight formations. The corners will need to funnel the receivers to the linebackers to pick up the mesh and shallow crosses in the 5-yard area.
Joe Lombardi loves play action, as the offense can do it all from the quick game, to the drop back game, and even making the run game bring safeties into the box. He will also use play action out of tight formations with only two receivers eligible allowing them to get one-on-one downfield as the linebackers are sucked into the box not able to make the necessary drop to get there let alone redirect the route of the receiver.
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This is a very tough offense to stop let alone slow down, but the Raiders have the tools to make their stamp as a legit unit in Week 1 against the Chargers. Should be exciting to see how Patrick Graham decides how to attack their offense.