It sounds pretty obvious, pressure the quarterback and make him uncomfortable. Nevertheless, it’s easier to say it than to successfully pull it off. The Las Vegas Raiders couldn’t do it in Week 1. They failed to constantly pressure Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and gave him plenty of time to throw. They will have to a better job of rushing the passer if they want to beat the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football.
The Raiders need to pick up where they left off last year
Last season, the Raiders recorded 32 sacks, an improvement from 2018’s 13 quarterback takedowns. They just registered one against the Panthers. Although sacks aren’t the only way to determine how effective a pass rush is, they are quite important. A sack stops a play and can kill drives while pressures and hurries can still result in a completion.
The Raiders’ defense as a whole has to better, not just the front four. However, pressure starts at the line of scrimmage. A consistent pass rush can lead to a quarterback to ill decision making and interceptions. The Raiders defensive coordinator, Paul Guenther, is conscious the defense needs to generate more pressure up front.
In his latest press conference, Guenther said he expected better results in terms of pass-rush against the Panthers. He pointed out what most of us know, the Raiders defense didn’t disrupt quarterback Teddy Bridgewater enough and that they will stress it moving forward.
“Paul Guenther says that the Raiders pass rush against the Panthers wasn’t good enough and not what he had anticipated and not what he had seen on the practice field. It will be a big point of emphasis for us this week to get back on track.”
The Saints have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL and allowed just one sack and two hits against the Buccaneers. In fact, Pro Football Focus ranked them as the second-best heading into Week 1. One of the reasons for that is tackles Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramczyk, two of the best in the league.
The Raiders will have their hands full on Monday Night Football. If they want to start the season with back-to-back wins, they will need to rattle quarterback Drew Bress and force him into making mistakes.
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*Top Photo: Las Vegas Raiders Official YouTube Channel