It’s never easy to find positives in a crushing loss but one thing’s for sure, the Las Vegas Raiders were able to stop the run.
After weeks of putrid defensive play, the Raiders finally made the change fans were clamoring for, following a loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Paul Guenther was out and now in, former Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli. The move itself didn’t excite many as Marinelli’s defensive line has played poorly in 2020.
However, changing the person in charge of defensive playcalling will have an effect no matter what they did as a positional coach. Yes, the Raiders lost to the Los Angeles Chargers but they were able to actually stop the run. At this point, the Silver and Black will accept improvements where they can.
Raiders Run Defense Decides To Make An Appearance…
As a whole, Las Vegas paints a bleak picture when it comes to stopping the run. So far, they’ve given up 1,761 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns in 2020. To make matters worse, the Raiders are giving up an average of 4.6 yards per carry to opposing running backs. Marinelli’s unit held the ‘Bolts’ to just 96 yards on the ground. Against the Colts, Guenther’s defense was gashed for 212 yards after allowing 206 yards to the New York Jets the week before.
In fact, the Raiders defense has only kept opposing rushing offenses under 100 yards on five occasions. The performance against the Chargers was just one game, but we have to wonder what might’ve been. With fewer players and starters, Marinelli’s run defense performed better than what Guenther had managed with more availability. It’ll be interesting to see how the Raiders’ defense will perform in these final games. Marinelli will now have extra time to put together his defense and perhaps, give a glimpse of the future.
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*Top Photo: Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal