Oakland Raiders: A Few Keys To Victory Over The Denver Broncos

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 06: Marquette King
OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 06: Marquette King /
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Oakland Raiders
LANDOVER, MD – SEPTEMBER 24: Quarterback Derek Carr /

Make a Play On Third Down

Third downs have been an a big problem for the Raiders this year – on both sides of the ball. And that’s something this team is going to need to clean up immediately if they want to have a chance, not just against Denver, but against everybody else moving forward.

On defense, Oakland’s problems are more glaring. They allowed Tennessee to hit on seven of their 14 third-down conversion attempts in week one. In week two, the lowly, Josh McCown and the offensively-challenged Jets hit on seven of twelve. Against Kirk Cousins, Oakland’s defense surrendered seven of 15 third-down conversions.

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If you’re adding this all up, for the season, Oakland has allowed 21 of 41 third-down conversion attempts. That’s a tidy — and entirely appalling — 52 percent conversion rate. You don’t need to be a mathematical genius to know that giving up more than half of a team’s third-down conversion attempts is absolutely horrid.

And by allowing teams to extend drives, you wear your defense out, and make the prone to giving up big and/or scoring plays. Sound familiar?

This Raiders defense has a tough test in Trevor Siemian and the Broncos, who currently lead the league in third-down conversion percentage, hitting at a near 53 percent conversion clip. Which, again, doesn’t take a mathematical genius to know Denver is making good on their third down opportunities at a pretty good clip.

This defense is going to need to step up on third downs and find a way to get off the field.

Offensively, the Raiders absolutely must put on a better showing than the goose-egg for 11 night they had against Washington. They need to help the defense out a bit by extending their own drives and giving the defense a breather.

On the year, Carr and the Raiders offense has hit on just 13 of their 35 conversion attempts – a 37 percent conversion rate, in case you were wondering.

Oakland’s offense needs to take better advantage of their third-down opportunities and the defense needs to make some plays and get the opposing offense off the field. If neither unit is able to do that, we may ultimately see more results like the one we saw in Washington.

And to quote words of wisdom from that sage philosopher, Sweet Brown, “ain’t nobody got time for that.”