Raiders Will Have Their Hands Full Against Ferocious Bucs Defense

The Las Vegas Raiders head into Sunday’s matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with one of the top-scoring offenses in the NFL. With or without their starting offensive line, they will need to continue this focus against Tampa’s stingy pass-rush.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is having another solid season thanks to his deadly accuracy and his newfound aggressiveness. Having a speedster like Henry Ruggs III also helps. He has helped the Las Vegas offense open up their deep passing game. Running back Josh Jacobs also figures to be featured early and often this Sunday, it will be imperative to let the running game open up.

It won’t be an easy task as head coach Jon Gruden prepares to host his old employer in Allegiant Stadium. In particular, Gruden and offensive coordinator Greg Olson will have to account for the Bucs pass-rush. This Tampa Bay defense currently ranks eighth in points allowed and has registered 22 sacks and eight interceptions.

Related: Raiders Defense Will Be Tested By Buccaneers Offense On Sunday

The Raiders must keep Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaquil Barrett in check

One thing that will be imperative for the Raiders is to find a way to slow down the Bucs’ pass-rush. If Carr is rattled and brought down often, it could be a long day for the Silver and Black. Saquil Barret and Jason Pierre-Paul have registered eight and a half sacks and 45 total tackles between the two. 15 total hurries between these two should also be alarming, they will be getting after Carr often and with purpose.

These two crafty veterans have only missed four tackles combined, so when they wrap you up or set their sights on you, it’s over. Luckily for Carr, the offensive line has done a solid job of protecting him in 2020. However, we don’t know who will take the field against the Buccaneers so it may be a harder task to achieve in Week 7.

It won’t just be the pass-rush though

It won’t get any easier via the air for Carr, as the Bucs have racked up eight total interceptions. These ballhawks are led in interceptions by cornerback, Carlton Davis, who accounts for three, but other players such as safety Mike Edwards and cornerback James Deal could give the Raiders quarterback some trouble.

Pro Football Focus grades Davis at 66.5 for his coverage skills in 2020 and has recorded 10 passes defensed. On the other hand, he has given up 20 receptions so far this year, so maybe Carr can exploit this. Despite a win against the Kansas City Chiefs, this defense will be the true litmus test for the Silver and Black’s offense at this juncture in the season.

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*Top Photo: Associated Press/Isaac Brekken

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