Raiders Defense and Patrick Graham - Dud
We've talked a lot about effort and execution in this article and no unit typified this more than the Raiders defense on sunday. We know that the offense has been struggling all year long but after two solid performances from the defense, we expected more of the same against an undrafted rookie in Tyson Bagent making his first ever start in the NFL.
Unfortunately for Raiders fans, it seemed like Patrick Graham and the Raiders defense expected the Bears to roll over and not fight. The defense was punched in the mouth by the Bears Run game and they had no answers to D'onta Foreman and Barrington Evans who rushed for a combined 140 yards and 2 touchdowns on just 30 carries. Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham should get the bulk of the blame as any reasonable coordinator would have expected the Bears to lean on their running backs but there was no sign that he expected that as well.
From our perspective, it seemed like Graham was content to not bring any extra pressure on Bagent and set his team up to be outflanked and outmuscled by the bears run game. Perhaps some of the late struggles were because the unit was tired late in the game due to the offensive struggles but the Bears scored touchdowns on their first two drives of the game and never looked back.
For all the struggles that the offense has had this year, there were signs that the defense could be the strength of this team but we saw on Sunday that both units are still far from competence. Things don't get any easier with a trip to Detroit coming up next week and if the defense plays with the same level of effort then that game will be over as soon as it starts.