Oakland Raiders: Notes And Observations From Week Eight

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Sep 27, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Oakland Raiders safety Charles Woodson (24) celebrates with teammates David Amerson (29) and Larry Asante (42) after intercepting a pass in the final minute against the Cleveland Browns in a NFL game at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Raiders defeated the Browns 27-20. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Secondary Is Stepping Up

Oakland’s secondary has endured its fair share of criticism this season. And given the fact that they were getting blown up early on in the season and surrendering more than 300 passing yards per game, that criticism was well deserved.

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  • But in one of the more unheralded moves this season, GM Reggie McKenzie brought in CB David Amerson to help bolster a defensive backs unit that had been suffering from third degree burns for weeks. And to his credit, Amerson has performed admirably.

    What has helped this secondary though, is the fact that D.J. Hayden has really stepped up his game and has been playing very well. It comes as something of a surprise to many after watching Hayden’s inconsistency and flat out poor play over the course of his young career.

    Though the stat sheet says that Brandon Marshall racked up 108 yards on nine receptions much of that damage was done during garbage time after the Raiders had built what was an insurmountable lead. The same can be said for Keenan Allen‘s 89 receiving yards and Danny Woodhead‘s 75 receiving yards. Though San Diego’s Woodhead did account for two touchdown receptions in garbage time, the Raiders secondary held both Marshall and Allen out of the endzone.

    Also add in the fact that the Raiders held Peyton Manning and his two top tier receivers – Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas – without a touchdown grab, and Manning to just 266 total passing yards for the day.

    Though the stats of some of those receivers jump off the page – Sanders had 111 receiving yards – but he was held without a score and his overall impact was blunted. Also, the majority of the yardage given up to San Diego and New York came during garbage time when Norton had deployed that terrible “Bandit” defense.

    Oakland’s beleaguered cornerbacks have stepped up and have been playing solid football over the last three weeks. And even better, they are improving each and every week. This bodes very well for Oakland as they go deeper into the season.

    Next: The Autumn Wind Is A Raider