One of the biggest disappointments of the 2020 season for the Las Vegas Raiders was Cory Littleton’s underwhelming play.
Littleton was one of the Silver and Black’s premier free-agent signings last year. He was coming off an impressive career with the Los Angeles Rams the previous four years. There, he put up excellent numbers and was a Pro Bowler in 2018. In fact, Littleton accumulated 205 solo tackles, 20 tackles for a loss, and three and a half sacks. Unlike his Rams stint, Littleton’s tenure with the Raiders has been a completely different story. The question now is whether he can rebound next season or has he peaked as a player? It’s surely a difficult conundrum, but the Raiders have to consider what to do about Littleton.
What went wrong for the Raiders and Littleton?
Things never really took off for Littleton in Silver and Black and he struggled from the outset. He didn’t have a tackle for a loss until Week 3, and forget about sacks, ’42’ notched a total of zero. In coverage, he gave up a 70.8 completion percentage, which is atrocious when you consider he was brought in to boost that aspect of the defense. We could definitely point to former defensive coordinator Paul Guenther as a reason for Littleton’s struggles.
As for Littleton himself, he recently spoke on the season with Jerry McDonald of Mercury News. He reiterated he’s disappointed with his individual play and still believes he’s a good linebacker, a top-five one in fact.
“I’ve always said that I wanted to keep myself and keep my play as a top-five linebacker. And the two previous seasons I had. I didn’t come nowhere close to it this year. I missed 10 times as many tackles as I did the previous year, which is uncharacteristic and something that can’t happen to a good linebacker,
Well, at least Littleton hasn’t lost his confidence which bodes well for the Silver and Black. Guenther didn’t put him in a position to succeed and looked out of place. He’s still a talented coverage linebacker and it will be up to whoever the Raiders bring in to make us of those talents. Let’s face it, those talents didn’t come cheap for Las Vegas.
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*Top Photo: Associated Press/Jeff Roberson