Even though the Las Vegas Raiders heavily invested in the linebacker position, the returns have not been optimal. Was it any different against the Cleveland Browns in Week 9?
The linebacker focus has been on Nick Kwiatkoski and Cory Littleton all season long, and deservedly so. These two were the Raiders’ biggest free-agent acquisitions and they were supposed to elevate the defense to another level. Unfortunately, due to a myriad of reasons such as injuries, scheme change, and overall bad luck, this has yet to happen. So far at this point, both players are going down different paths in 2020. Kwiatkoski is the leader on defense. We can all see how different the unit plays when he’s on the field. As far as Littleton, he’s becoming one of the biggest disappointments for the Raiders despite playing on 100 percent of the team’s snaps on defense.
Did Kwiatkoski Or Littleton Deliver On Sunday For Raiders?
Kwiatkoski had five total tackles and had a huge forced fumble on Sunday. The strip by ‘Sly’ was huge for a beset defensive unit, even if the turnover didn’t translate into points. The fact is, it was a positive sign for the Raiders defense and we are sure defensive coordinator Paul Guenther will take it.
On the other hand, Littleton had five tackles playing on all the defensive snaps as pointed out earlier. On the year, Littleton has given up 319 yards in pass coverage while opposing receivers are averaging 11.8 yards a catch.
#IDP – So, Cory Littleton had another ðŸ¶ðŸ’© #FFIDP day despite playing 100% of defensive snaps.â€” Jon Macri (@PFF_Macri) November 2, 2020
Last week was nice for him but we can’t pretend like one game redeems him for what he’s given us all season long.
I really hope he has a better 2nd half of 2020.#IDP
It’s clear who has been the better signing of the two. Be that as it may, Jon Macri of Pro Football Focus pointed out that hopefully, Littleton can bounce back these upcoming games. Sunday will be another test as Littleton will have to cover Los Angles Chargers tight end Hunter Henry, who has 29 receptions and is averaging 11.2 yards per catch.
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*Top Photo: Associated Press/Jeff Roberson