The Las Vegas Raiders find themselves undefeated at 2-0 but should there be concerns about their pass defense?
A lot of the credit for the Silver and Black’s early success goes to the offense, the defense is keeping the team in the games, and thanks to their defense, they sealed the Week 1 victory in Carolina. Also, they blanketed the Saints offense on Monday night by making the necessary adjustments in the second half. Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther is safe so far, especially if the team continues to win. That said, does the pass defense have any noticeable weaknesses?
Noteworthy Struggles for the Raiders
One of the biggest concerns right now should be safety Erik Harris, the team captain is struggling in 2020. So far, he has given up 162 receiving yards in seven targets in two weeks and a touchdown. According to Pro Football Focus, Harris is grading at 45.6 in coverage and 41.2 in run defense for the year so far. Against opposing quarterbacks. Also, Harris is giving up a 153.3 passer rating, this will have to improve to maintain success in 2020. In a recent open mailbag by Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, a fan asked if the Raiders should look at other options.
With erik Harris being a liability at safety do you think the Raiders will consider looking at Earl Thomas?
— Jose Torres (@JoseTor20687146) September 15, 2020
It’s highly unlikely that the Raiders would make a splash move as that’s not their style. Instead, the team will rely on Harris to quickly turn it around. This is, of course, assuming that Guenther will put him in better positions.
Is Lamarcus Joyner a liability once again?
Besides Harris, the other concern for the Raiders pass defense in Joyner. In his first two weeks, Joyner has been targeted 14 times and has surrendered 10 receptions. YJoyner has given up 93 yards, more importantly, he’s surrendering an average of 9.3 yards per pass.
PFF has given Joyner a 56.4 grade for his coverage and 29.0 for his run defense, which is atrocious. It’s entirely plausible the Raiders can keep winning despite these concerns with their pass defense. Can head coach Jon Gruden rely on Guenther to fix this issue, or does their defense need more talent? This will soon be answered as the team travels to face Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots.
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*Top Photo: Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal