We aren’t going to lie, the Las Vegas Raiders win over the Kansas City Chiefs was breathtaking. However, there are still some areas they need to improve if they want to keep up with the best week in and week out. One of them is their defensive line and performing due diligence in defensive end David Irving is a wise move.
The Raiders need to get more from their defensive line
Defensive end Clelin Ferrell had nine pressures against the Chiefs while Maxx Crosby currently leads the Raiders with four sacks. Nevertheless, the Raiders defensive front hasn’t lived up to their offseason billing. Defensive tackle Maliek Collins and defensive end Carl Nassib have failed to have an impact after joining the team via free agency. Moreover, Ferrell hasn’t registered a sack and the team ranks 25th in that department. To make matters worse, Nassib will miss some time due to a broken toe and Collins didn’t suit up against the Chiefs.
On the other hand, Chris Smith and Kendal Vickers have been solid in complementary roles but it’s doubtful they could succeed in a more prominent role. The Raiders simply need more production out of their defensive line and there are a few things they can do in order to maximize the unit’s performance.
One of them is mixing their personnel up and looking for ways to put their players in a better position to make plays. Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther is surely working on that during the Raiders bye week. Also, they could acquire players via trade or sign them. After bringing in David Irvin, it seems like they are at least exploring the latter.
Checking out David Irving doesn’t hurt and could lead somewhere
The NFL reinstated Irvin this past Friday and he is visiting the Raiders per the transaction wire. The league suspended him indefinitely for violating the Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse. This one is worth exploring for the Raiders as the defensive end played under defensive line coach Rod Marinelli back with the Dallas Cowboys.
The Iowa State product was suspended three times in a span of three years but brings a lot of positives to the table. Back in 2017, Irving registered seven sacks in just eight games but suffered a concussion in Week 13 and didn’t play the remainder of the season. He played in 37 games from 2015 to 2018 and recorded 12.5 quarterback takedowns in that span. That kind of production should be welcomed in Las Vegas.
The Raiders showed against the Chiefs that they can take on playoff teams but also that they still have work to do. They need to look for ways to improve and kicking the tires on David Irving is a step in the right direction.
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Top Photo: Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News