While the Las Vegas Raiders defense had success slowing down Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes in Week 5, they couldn’t stop Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady in Week 7. Things won’t be easier in Week 8, as the Silver and Black will have yet another tough matchup against the Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.
Opposing quarterbacks have taken advantage of the Raiders secondary
Although the Raiders were able to slow down Mahomes in Week 5, they still allowed 32 points on defense. In fact, they have allowed at least 30 points in all but one game this season. Their defense currently ranks 31st in points allowed with 197 and has given up 11 passing touchdowns this year. They gave up three of those against Brady, who exposed the team’s secondary last week.
Meanwhile, Mayfield is coming off a career game in which he threw for five touchdown passes. If the Raiders want to have a shot at stopping him, they will have to look for ways to generate pressure at the line of scrimmage, something they haven’t been able to do in recent weeks. So far, they have registered seven sacks, two less than Brown’s defensive end Myles Garrett has this year.
Myles Garrett has 9 sacks this season, leading the NFL.
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) October 28, 2020
To make matters worse, the Browns have allowed just 11 sacks and rank fifth in the league in passing touchdowns with 16. Moreover, Mayfield ranks 13th among 32 qualifiers with a 108.5 rating when not pressured. If there’s a silver lining is that the Browns quarterback is 29th when pressured so the Raiders defense should have the incentive to produce against him.
The defense will have its hands full against Baker Mayfield
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden is aware of the threat Mayfield and the Browns running game will pose for them in Week 8. Gruden said in a sitdown with the media that ‘when they get the running game going, Baker is really hard to stop because of the play-action passes and the bootlegs’. The coach later added that Mayfield is ‘an emerging young quarterback’.
Saying that the Raiders defense has underperformed is an understatement and they will have another tough matchup against the Browns. The unit simply hasn’t been playing good but their loss against the ‘Bucs’ could’ve given them a wake-up call. They will have a chance to show that giving up nearly 50 points on defense was an aberration and not the norm on Sunday.
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