Oakland Raiders: Five Bold-ish Predictions For The 2018 Season

Oakland Raiders (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Oakland Raiders (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images) /
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Oakland Raiders
Oakland Raiders /

Defense Will Be In Top-10 In Sacks

Guenther had one season in Cincinnati, where his Bengals defense ranked in the top-ten in the league in sacks. It was 2015, when the Bengals racked up 42 total sacks – good for tenth in the league.

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  • That was a year when Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins both landed on the NFL map. Dunlap went off for 13.5 sacks, and Atkins added 11 more. Outside of those two though, the Bengals didn’t have much else. Michael Johnson and Domata Peko both added five apiece, but nobody else had more than two.

    With the Raiders, Guenther is going to have far more pieces to work with. Despite losing a generational talent like Khalil Mack, Guenther has plenty of pieces to work with. He’s got guys who can and will get some sacks up the gut in P.J. Hall and Maurice Hurst. And, he’s got guys that can come off the edge in Bruce Irvin, Arden Key, Fadol Brown, and Shilique Calhoun.

    The Raiders have multiple guys capable of notching double digit sacks. Of course, the defense – and the pass rush in particular – would obviously be way better with Khalil Mack in the lineup, Oakland still has the pieces in place to put together a very serious pass rush.

    And this is a unit that will be playing with a chip on its shoulder, and something to prove, given the fact that nobody seems to think they’ll be able to do much of anything in terms of getting a solid, consistent pass rush on.

    Oakland’s pass rushers are being disrespected in the media, and you can believe they’ll be using that as motivation to stay hungry. And Guenther will be turning them loose. Expect them to be in the top-ten in total team sacks by the end of the year.