Imperative Raiders Improve on Allowing Receiving Touchdowns

Las Vegas Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther’s unit must improve in 2020. Cutting back on receiving touchdowns should be a start.

If the Raiders expect to make noise this season, their pass defense will have to take a leap forward and catch up to the pass rush. Looking back at 2019, the Raiders didn’t look good when defending the pass. This can be attributed to a lack of talent in the secondary, in particular, at the cornerback position. Then again, many are convinced that the underlying issue is Guenther and his scheme.

Related: Raiders WR Corps Potentially Lethal in 2020

Regardless of who you feel’s to blame for the Raiders defensive woes, the unit in 2019 was unimpressive. Giving up 33 passing touchdowns as a group is not a good look no matter who you want to disparage. An opposing passer rating of 103.8 and an overall completion percentage of 64.1% versus the Raiders secondary assuredly made general manager Mike Mayock take a hard look at prospects this past draft.

Not All Was Gloom For The Raiders

Trayon Mullen, who was one of the few highlights in the secondary last year, held his own. Individually, he gave up only two of those passing touchdowns and allowed a mere 55.9% completion percentage. Navin Lawson also showed promise albeit in a smaller sample. In five starts off of 11 games, he only allowed two touchdowns. His opposing completion percentage of 53.8% also dazzled Raider Nation. Lawson definitely merits snaps and a chance to start in 2020.

Giving up 4,107 passing yards in 2019 as a defense isn’t a good look no matter how you slice it. The one number that Guenther will have to focus on a week-to-week basis will be the individual passing yards average, which was 256.7 a game last year. An improved pass rush can only do so much if your backend can’t defend the pass, football 101 at its best.

Final Words

Figuring the Raiders can’t make noise unless the roster saw upgrades, Mayock worked his magic. He picked up the brash cornerback from Ohio State, Damon Arnette, with the 19th pick. Mayock didn’t stop there and selected Amik Robertson, which gives Guenther more than enough talent to work with at cornerback.

If the Raiders don’t improve quickly, perhaps someone else will take advantage of this replenished group in the secondary.

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*Top Photo: Peter Joneleit/Associated Press

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