There are many reasons why the Las Vegas Raiders were able to upset the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 5. One of them was their ability to rattle quarterback Patrick Mahomes and sack him three times. However, as solid as the Silver and Black’s pass-rush was, there is room for improvement, and Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap could provide a boost to their front four.
Why do the Raiders need help upfront?
It’s true the Raiders registered three sacks against the Chiefs, but one of them was by cornerback Nevin Lawson. Before their Week 5 matchup, they had only recorded four sacks as a team, and even with the three they had at Arrowhead, they are currently tied for 25th in the league.
While sacks are not the only way to determine a team’s pass-rush success, it’s the most important one. While hurries and hits can lead quarterbacks into making mistakes, sacks stop plays. The Raiders haven’t simply applied much pressure upfront despite the additions they made in the offseason.
The Raiders signed defensive tackle Maliek Collins and defensive end Carl Nassib in free agency and neither of them has contributed much on defense. Moreover, Collins was out against the Chiefs with a shoulder injury and Nassib will miss time with a broken toe. This can be the perfect time for the Silver and Black to upgrade their defensive line.
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How can DE Carlos Dunlap help?
Moving Dunlap is an idea Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report originally floated. He says that trading the defensive end makes sense as Carl Lawson is entrenched as the starter for the Bengals. Meanwhile, Dunlap will play mostly on third downs. Moton also pointed out that Dunlap played for four years under Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther when he held the same position in Cincinnati.
Although Maxx Crosby and Clelin Ferrell are the Raiders starting defensive ends, Dunlap could play a role in the team’s rotation. The veteran defensive end has registered 82.5 sacks and 489 total tackles in his 11-year career. This season, he has just recorded one quarterback takedown but he still sure has some gas left in the tank. Moreover, his contract isn’t guaranteed in 2021, so they could part ways in case the arrangement doesn’t work out.
The Raiders currently hold a 3-2 record and are coming out of a win at Arrowhead. This could be the right time to make improvements to their roster if they are serious about contending for a playoff spot. Their defensive line can be better and Dunlap can provide a spark to a unit that needs one.
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