Amid the defensive struggles the Las Vegas Raiders have had this season, it might be easy to forget that their run defense is actually holding its own.
We may be nitpicking but let’s focus on the positives
NFL defenses are a two-way street, you have to be able to defend both the pass and the run. Raider Nation is familiar with the atrocious pass defense that continues to present itself every week. So it is easy to forget that the run defense for the Raiders is actually doing its part in 2020.
Against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 8, the defense was able to negate the running game. Buccaneers running backs Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones only totaled 84 rushing yards. Unfortunately, the defense did surrender a rushing touchdown to Tom Brady off a quarterback sneak. As a whole, Raiders defenders did well on the stat sheet actually, and there was a total of seven tackles for a loss. The often beset defensive back, Lamarcus Joyner, had two of those with Cory Littleton, Maxx Crosby, Clelin Ferrell, Nicholas Morrow, and Carl Nassib notching one each.
It Is Imperative The Raiders Continue Stopping The Run
As the season progresses it is everyone’s hope that the Raiders can get their pass defense in order. Meanwhile, as the coaching staff works on this, the rushing defense must continue their solid play. As a whole, they have given up 719 yards on the ground, tack on 12 touchdowns as well.
#Raiders HC Jon Gruden says the team is going to make internal changes in order to boost defensive productivity.
'We're going to make some changes in the lineup and in the scheme we use and hopefully, we change the results we are getting.'
— Carlos Sánchez (@HaeruHariken) October 26, 2020
In what’s deemed a more “favorable stretch” of games coming up for the Raiders, the defense needs to address another issue. The Raiders ranked 14th in rushing yards allowed. Unfortunately, they are dead last in rushing touchdowns, as they’ve given up 12 this year. Head coach Jon Gruden stated that there will be personnel changes with the lineup recently. Perhaps, they will help solidify the run defense immediately. If the Raiders want to stay in games moving forward, these said changes will be of the utmost importance.
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*Top Photo: Associated Press/Reed Hoffmann