Raiders Quick Slants: Defense is still king in the NFL

Raiders fans, raise your hand if you thought Super Bowl LIII was boring … Now bring that same hand sharply down across your own face. Call it a reality slap.
In a league that’s made playing offense much easier and defense exponentially difficult, watching New England defensive coordinator Brian Flores and head coachBill Belichick masterfully undo the much-heralded Sean McVay offense was a treat. They both dismantled the Boy Wonder’s schemes to near perfection.

Defense was dead” they said… “Offense reigns supreme in the NFL”… “More points, more viewers;” the Patriots had other ideas.
Kudos to Wade Phillips and his Rams defense as well. The Son of Bum had his group playing well, but it was only a matter of time before Josh McDaniels and Tom Brady would wear down Los Angeles defensive unit that spent more time on the field than its offensive counterparts.
Let’s hit those Quick Slants as fast as the Rams went three-and-out:

  • Jared Goff was terrible under pressure. The Rams quarterback dropped back into a noisy pocket time and again and he was rattled from the get-go. It reminds you of another quarterback, doesn’t it? One that wears No. 4 for the Raiders, perhaps ….
  • It goes to show just how integral trench warfare is in the NFL. Without the men up front, the offense can’t get going. This is why the Raiders must get their Big Uglies on the same page for Jon Gruden’s offense to fire on all cylinders.
  • There’s the other side of the coin: The Raiders need to get working on creating a harrier of a front four — even seven. Grabbing much-needed talent in the draft and free agency can go a long way towards remedying an anemic pass rush.
  • Watching Brandin Cooks reinforced my support for Gruden’s preference of bigger wide receivers. I kept thinking “What if the 5-foot-10 Cooks was 6-2 instead?” It might have made a difference in the wide-open touchdown that wasn’t and other should-have-been score.
  • The Patriots closed the game out with some power running and that’s exactly what Gruden wants his Raiders to do. Run well early and run very well in the end to close it out.
  • It was quite the punting showcase in the Super Bowl, wasn’t it? Now imagine if that were Johnny Townsend doing the booting. Yes, I shuddered with you, too. You’re not alone.

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