Raiders Blog

Raiders O-Line Overwhelms Chargers With Near-Perfect Outing

The Las Vegas Raiders dominated the Los Angeles Chargers’ defense in the trenches after a masterful performance by the offensive line. A once maligned group, the Raiders’ O-line has turned the corner recently. Moving forward, they’ll be instrumental in getting this team into the playoffs. But first, they deserve a fair amount of praise. Something that head coach Josh McDaniels emphasized after the game.

While speaking to the media on the day after Sunday’s action, McDaniels heaped praise on the overall performance of his group. In particular, he cited the near-perfect effort, disciplined from start to finish.

“For us to come out of the game with no sacks, no negative runs, and no penalties, [it] says a lot about what that unit is starting to do together. Communicate, trying to eliminate any issues before the ball is snapped, playing tough and physical in the running game, and then trying to keep everybody off the quarterback. They just keep showing up and doing that week after week after week. And, again, nothing’s perfect, but their effort, their intentions, and the way they work together have been really good, and they’re getting better.”

It should also be noted that McDaniels pointed out the similarities between the Chargers and what the Los Angeles Rams do in terms of pre snap. It’s something to keep an eye on as Thursday Night Football will quickly approach.

“This defense—the Chargers’—and I’m going to say the same thing about the Rams’—is a very similar system. It’s where Brandon [Staley] came from, so the communication pre snap is not unimportant. It’s very challenging.”

Raiders Blog: What do the numbers say about the O-line?

McDaniels’ assessment speaks for itself. The fact that this unit didn’t give up a single sack and kept Derek Carr’s pocket clean throughout is remarkable. The team’s run-blocking has certainly made headlines this season thanks to Josh Jacobs. Conversely, the pass-blocking has quietly and consistently improved as well.

According to Pro Football Focus, of the top-graded Raiders players from Sunday, two of them were offensive linemen. Prized tackle Kolton Miller received an 85.2 overall grade. Meanwhile, Jermaine Eluemunor was graded at 81.8 for his efforts as well. It goes to show that patience pays off. While you could call this a “makeshift” unit made up of spare parts, there’s no denying that they have gelled masterfully under McDaniels. The question now is, “Can they keep this up in this pivotal home stretch that’ll define the 2022 Raiders?” You can be this Raiders blog will be keeping an eye out.

*Top Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

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