Looking back, the Las Vegas Raiders’ inability to get to Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady was one of the reasons why they ended up losing their Week 7 matchup. While defensive end Arden Key will be out in Week 8, the Silver and Black are getting reinforcements.
The Las Vegas Raiders must find a way to rush opposing quarterbacks
After registering 32 sacks last season, the Raiders have failed to take opposing quarterbacks down in 2020. Defensive end Maxx Crosby continues to be his dominant self and currently has four sacks. However, he isn’t getting much help from the rest of the defensive line. Defensive end Clelin Ferrell has failed to take a significant leap in his sophomore campaign and the teams’ free-agent acquisitions, defensive tackle Maliek Collins and defensive end Carl Nassib, haven’t had much impact.
Both Collins and Nassib missed the Raiders’ Week 7 matchup but should be back in the lineup against the Browns. The Raiders will need them as Arden Key hasn’t practiced all week long and is listed as doubtful in the team’s latest injury report. This season, the LSU product has played in all six games and has three total tackles. On the other hand, he hasn’t registered any sacks so his absence against the Browns might not make much of a difference.
Also, David Irving may make his debut with the Raiders. Last week, the team’s brass signed him to the practice squad. Even though they activated him, the defensive end was part of the inactive list against the ‘Bucs’. Looking to shake things up, the coaching staff could give him a shot and see what he brings to the table against the Browns.
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The Browns offensive line presents an interesting matchup
Things won’t be easy for the Raiders defensive line as the Browns offensive line has allowed 11 sacks in 2020. Four of those takedowns came against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 6 and they didn’t give up any against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 7. Joel Bitonio is one of the best guards in the league and center J.C. Tretter has been solid and right tackle Jack Conklin is nothing to scoff at.
While the Raiders defensive line’s performance against the Buccaneers was nothing to be proud of, it’s time to focus on the Browns. The Silver and Black’s front four will have a chance to turn things around. The odds of leaving Cleveland with a win will substantially increase if they do.
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Top Photo: John Locher/Associated Press