Oakland Raiders: Bye Week Notes And Observations

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Oct 11, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) throws a pass under pressure by Oakland Raiders defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. (97) at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Defense – Keep Doing That
It wasn’t always pretty, but the defense was very effective against the Broncos. As a unit, they’ve been getting a little bit better and a little bit stronger each and every week. In their last game, they harassed Peyton Manning and got to him on more than one occasion. They recorded a pair of sacks against Denver and made life tough on him all day.

Broncos wideout Emmanuel Sanders went off for 111 yards on the day, as a part of the 254 that Manning tossed, but for the most part, the Raiders secondary kept the Broncos’ offense in check, keeping them out of the endzone entirely. If not for Chris Harris’ pick-six on Carr, Denver would have managed just three field goals on the afternoon.

The front seven, in particular, seems to be gathering strength and momentum for the Raiders. They held Denver to just 43 total rushing yards – and still have not allowed a 100 yard rusher on the season. In fact, the Raiders are giving up just 83.2 yards per game on the season – which makes them the third best defense against the run.

It’s unfortunately, against the pass where the Raiders fall down. For the season, the Raiders are giving up 299.2 yards per game – which makes them the second worst unit in all of football defending the pass.
But using a combination of a 3-4 base and a 4-3 base, the Raiders have been able to generate a lot of pressure on the quarterback while continuing to dominate against the run. It’s a change to the defense that Del Rio and Norton made that has made a world of difference in terms of results.

But with Justin Tuck on the IR with a torn pectoral muscle, the pressure will be on the likes of Mario Edwards to step up their game and continue the dominant form that front seven is rounding into.
If the Raiders move Hayden to safety – at least until Nate Allen returns – and let David Amerson and Travis Carrie handle the corners, they just might have a pretty fierce defense that is going to keep them in some games.

They’ve started to meld and gel into a formidable unit. That development and cohesion absolutely must continue.

Next: The Monster Under Oakland's Bed