This year, Oakland’s defense is allowing just 22 points per game, has 16 sacks – after getting just 25 all of last season – and ranks 10th in the NFL against the run, giving up just 99 yards per game. Overall, the Raiders have the 13th-ranked defense in the league and are on pace for more than 40 sacks.
And, aside from giving up 37 points to the Broncos and Peyton Manning – who are torching every defense in the league this season – the Raiders have given up no more than 24 points in a game.
Now, with the Raiders in their bye week at 2-4 and with time to prepare for their next matchup, against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Oct. 27, head coach Dennis Allen this week said he’s been proud of the way defensive coordinator Jason Tarver has molded a unit that has at times confused opponents and become one of the strongest aspects of the team.
- Doug Williams, NBC Bay Area
Big guard Andre Iguodala, who left for China hoping to establish better on-court chemistry with his new teammates, made substantial progress. He shined in Friday’s win, submitting the kind of stat line only great all-around players tend to deliver: 14 assists, seven rebounds, five steals and 4 points in 29 minutes.
Of particular note were the 14 assists, a clear sign that Iguodala is finding open teammates and getting them the ball at the right place and time. That’s one way to build chemistry.
- Monte Poole, CSN Bay Area
If the Sharks’ hot start seems familiar, it is. They started out 7-0 last year, then faltered for the next two months, wobbling around at 6-11-6 before a late turnaround.
But coach Todd McLellan sees this as a different team. And he likes what he is seeing from his current 6-0-1 squad more than what he saw after the first seven games last season — even after that 4-3 shootout loss in Dallas on Thursday night.
With good reason.
- David Pollak, San Jose Mercury News