Oakland Raiders: Key Matchups Worth Watching vs. Cleveland Browns

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Sep 13, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) stands in the team huddle before taking a snap against the Cincinnati Bengals in the first quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The Trenches

Though they don’t seem to get the credit they deserve, for the most part, Oakland’s offensive line has been getting the job done. They’ve allowed just three quarterback sacks over the first two games of the season — “ one on Derek Carr and two on Matt McGloin after he’d relieved Carr in week one.

They’ll be squaring off against a Cleveland team that has registered seven sacks through the first two games of the young season, which puts them among the league leaders — “ only New England, Kansas City, and St. Louis have registered more. Despite their success rushing the passer though, Cleveland is rarely mentioned as being one of the better units in the league.

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  • Against the Ravens, Oakland’s wall of humanity allowed just four pressures all day long, and the one sack came as Carr was running out of bounds — barely missing getting back to the line of scrimmage, so it isn’t like the line allowed him to get popped in the pocket. Just as impressive is the fact that the Raiders ran the ball nineteen times against Baltimore — and all but one of them gained positive yards.

    Oakland’s line has been good, but they haven’t been great. There is absolutely room for improvement — a fact tackle Donald Penn was quick to point out after the Baltimore game.
    The Oakland offensive line is going to have their hands full dealing with a Cleveland pass rush that is surprisingly potent. Defensive end Armonty Bryant and defensive tackle John Hughes have accounted for 2.5 and 1.5 sacks for the Browns respectively.

    Facing the Browns’ pass rush is going to provide a good test for Oakland’s offensive line – a unit that according to Pro Football Focus, is the league’s seventh best. They’ll need to build on that momentum and continue their solid play for this offense to thrive.

    Next: Battle of the Big Men II