Oakland Raiders: Notes And Observations From Week Seven

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Oct 25, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers running back Melvin Gordon (28) is stopped at the line as Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Dan Williams (90) outside linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong (57) defensive end Benson Mayowa (95) and outside linebacker Malcolm Smith (53) defend during the third quarter at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Defense Was On Point

For three quarters of the game on Sunday, the Raiders defense was suffocating. They were flying to the ball. San Diego’s ballcarriers had nowhere to run. And their receivers had nowhere to go after a catch. They forced turnovers and made life a living hell for anybody in a San Diego uniform. The defense was absolutely on point and they smothered the Chargers offense.

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Though the team recorded just one sack on the game – that, courtesy of Malcolm Smith – the defense harassed Rivers, forcing him to make throws that were off target, forcing him into mistakes, and not giving him room to breathe.

It was the sort of defensive performance that Raider fans have longed to see.

And it’s the sort of defensive performance that we’ll need to see a lot more of in the coming weeks. Oakland’s schedule doesn’t get any easier and with games against the likes of Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Green Bay – not to mention their own divisional games – the defense is going to need to come up big week in and week out.

They need to continue flying around the field like their hair is on fire. They need to continue to smother the opposing offense. And it’s up to DC Ken Norton to not put the shackles on this defensive unit, but to let them continue to be aggressive and attack from the opening snap to the final whistle.

D.J. Hayden said after the San Diego game that he thought this could be a top ten defense in the NFL. With a performance like they put on for the first three quarters in San Diego, we think he could be right. But that is going to take consistency. And fans hope that the demolition they visited upon San Diego’s offense is the start of bigger things.

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