Oakland’s Corners Will Have To Play Large
One of the most consistent themes for the Raiders defense this season has been the outlandishly poor play from their cornerbacks. It seems pretty remarkable after spending $40 million on Sean Smith and another $35 million on David Amerson.
With those two in the fold, it looked like Oakland’s secondary was going to be in really good shape for the next few years.
The return on investment Oakland has gotten to this point should have them asking for a rebate on those deals. As of right now, the Raiders are currently ranked dead last in pass defense – that’s right, thirty-second out of thirty-two teams. And it’s not even close. The team ranked thirty-first against the pass – the New York Jets – are still nearly thirty yards better than Oakland in pass defense.
Though three teams – Detroit, Atlanta, and Cleveland – have given up more passing touchdowns than Oakland, the twelve passing touchdowns they’ve given up are among the worst in the league.
Perhaps it’s Smith adjusting to a new scheme. Perhaps it’s the growing pains of a defense that has a ton of newcomers already – especially in the secondary where they have three brand new faces in Smith, Reggie Nelson, and Karl Joseph.
Whatever the reason, the Raiders have the pieces in place to have an absolutely dominant secondary. But they have yet to put all of the pieces together – or any of the pieces, really. And that is something that needs to change very quickly or the Raiders may ultimately have one of the most talented teams that winds up going nowhere.