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Raiders Blog: 3 Defensive X-Factors On Las Vegas’ Defense

The Las Vegas Raiders are riding a three-game winning streak and have their eyes focused on a possible fourth win on Thursday. They meet the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams, who are going through a tough season. It’s an opportunity for Vegas to continue its roll against a struggling team. Defensively speaking, there are many in Patrick Graham’s group who can assist in making an impact. Here are three X-factors who can help pick up a win.

Raiders Blog: 3 Defensive X-Factors For Patrick Graham’s Unit

Jerry Tillery

The former Los Angeles Charger has been a welcome addition to the defensive line, and he’s helped solidify a position that had been lacking this year. In his performance against his ex-team, he was constantly getting into the backfield and disrupting the offense. Simply put, his impact has been seen and felt in a short span.

In the three games before his arrival, the Raiders gave up 168, 207, and 136 yards rushing. By contrast, in the three games that he’s played, they’ve given up 94, 65, and 72. The Rams have had issues in the running game, which could give the former Notre Dame product a chance to pick up a couple sacks.

Chandler Jones

Hello, Mr. Jones! Thank you for making your presence known. The big offseason acquisition had struggled to make an impact this season, but he exploded after a strong performance against Seattle in Week 12. In a game where his arrival couldn’t have been better, he picked up three sacks, six tackles, and a pass deflection. He delivered on what fans expected, and now he faces an old rival from his Arizona Cardinal days, and with the defense in place, another big game would go a long way. The Rams have struggled along the offensive line, and with many injuries across the offense, the former Orangeman can eat again.

Duron Harmon

The veteran has been a true blessing to the secondary. This year, he’s accounted for two interceptions and two forced fumbles so far. Additionally, his leadership has also been crucial on a young defense. The Rams have issues across the wide receiver position due to injuries. Nevertheless, they have a solid tight end in Tyler Higbee. Let’s face it, a quarterback’s best friend could very well be the tight end. Harmon will surely see time against Higbee, and if he can take him away and make whoever plays quarterback second-guess or hesitate on his throws, he’ll help secure a much-needed victory.

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*Top Photo: Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sports Wire via Getty Images

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