Las Vegas Raiders vs New Orleans Saints 2022 Week 8: Studs and Duds
Dud – Patrick Graham and the Defense
As it stands, the Las Vegas Raiders have the seventh-worst scoring defense in the NFL, giving up a whopping 24.9 points per game. They likely would have given up more points to the Saints but they were content to take their foot off the gas once it was clear the Raiders’ offense posed no threat to them.
We heard all offseason that defensive coordinator Patrick Graham would come in and transform this defense into a unit that can actually make a difference but we have seen very little progress. Last year the Raiders had a historically bad defense that gave up 25.8 points per game and gave up touchdowns 81.4% of the time in the red zone. This year, they are just under 25 points per game and are giving up touchdowns in 74% of opponents’ red zone possession, ranked second worst in the league.
The improvements have been marginal at best despite big investments in free agents like Chandler Jones, Rock Ya-Sin, and Anthony Averett, and spending draft capital primarily on defensive linemen. The Raiders’ defense has looked overwhelmed at times and even made the worst offense in the NFL in the Houston Texans look downright competent.
Patrick Graham likely won’t last the year if the Raiders continue to play like this and it will be more of the same turnover and nonsense we have seen for the last 20 years. On Sunday, Graham’s unit made Andy Dalton look like Peyton Manning, Alvin Kamara look like Marshall Faulk, and Taysom Hill look like Cam Newton in his prime. We see very little chance that things improve and Raiders fans may have to suffer through yet another year where the team rolls out a bottom-five defense every week.