When it came to the Denver Broncos, the Las Vegas Raiders’ defense faced a different kind of task than normal. Because Russell Wilson was in charge, the Raiders wouldn’t be saved by a subpar quarterback performance.
The Raiders secondary played admirably despite all the injuries and Wilson running the Broncos attack. Wilson completed two touchdown passes and passed for 237 yards, but the numbers don’t fully reflect the secondary’s performance.
Raiders CB Nate Hobbs is that guy…
Hobbs excelled in his debut season last year and is already rapidly becoming a superstar in front of our very eyes. He had a concussion and was listed as questionable but was cleared in time for Sunday’s game. As Courtland Sutton arrived in town, there was a glimmer of relief.
Hobbs’ greatest strength is his adaptability; he can play both inside and outside and is a skilled blitzer. He was seen covering Sutton and was occasionally on Jerry Jeudy, which is evidence of his talent, but more importantly, his versatility to play all over the field. They occasionally sent him on a blitz, and on one of those he came home to record his first sack of the season.
Hobbs finished the game with three total tackles: one sack, one tackle for loss, and one pass deflection. Oh, don’t overlook the shutdown coverage that isn’t on the stat sheet.
Raiders Blog: The unsung hero of the secondary
Well, if I told you Amik Roberston would be the hero of the game for the Raiders, would you believe me?
For the Raiders’ secondary, injuries mounted as Anthony Averett missed his fourth straight game and Rock Ya-Sin missed his first game. In other words, Robertson would get some playing time. Robertson conceded a third down to Jeudy, who mocked him by making the “small guy” gesture. This sparked Robertson’s inspired play.
Even though Robertson was making strong tackles left and right, a fortunate bounce led to the game’s biggest play. Running back Melvin Gordon of the Broncos fumbled the ball, which fell directly into Robertson’s hands. He returned it 68 yards on the ground for his first defensive touchdown in his NFL career. Robertson could have more playing time after this game. He can perhaps build on this and be more assertive going forward.
Rounding off the rest of the unit
Trevon Moehrig, a safety, was welcomed by the Raiders’ secondary as it was his first contest since Week 1. Their biggest error was a breakdown in communication that let wide receiver KJ Hamler of the Broncos get around the defense and beat them for 55 yards. In addition, the safety trio of Moehrig, Duron Harmon, and Johnathan Abram performed admirably. Harmon was the one that forced the fumble that led to Robertson’s touchdown. All you could hope for was that they didn’t allow Wilson to beat them with his arm, which didn’t happen.
*Top Photo: Willow Manor