I understand that we are only two weeks into the 2016 regular season, but I can tell which teams could have some serious issues down the road if they do not address them right now. One of those teams is the Oakland Raiders. Their defense has given up a total of 69 points in the first two games of the regular season.
The NFC South gauntlet will not get any better because they still have to face quarterbacks such as Cam Newton and Jameis Winston. Recent history has shown us that defenses that are at the bottom of the barrel in regards to defensive statistics do not make the playoffs.
Teams such as the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos won Super Bowl titles with some of the best defenses that we have seen in recent memory. The Raiders were able to survive last week’s offensive onslaught by the New Orleans Saints because of their ability to pick apart the opposing team’s horrible defense.
However, if they find themselves down in the second half against a team such as the Denver Broncos they can forget about it, because we saw how their defense could rise to the occasion when needed in yesterday’s matchup against the Indianapolis Colts. The Broncos defense made two crucial plays in the fourth quarter, which allowed them to leave Mile High victorious.
So far, the Raiders have demonstrated that they can toe to toe with the league’s best offenses, but they must figure out another way to win football games when they face teams that have great defenses such as the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers. Facing ball clubs that has elite defenses, like the ones that I mentioned, will show what type of quarterback Derek Carr is going to be from here on out.
Quarterbacks can look superb facing teams that have mediocre defenses such as the New Orleans Saints or the Jacksonville Jaguars, but when you can dissect great defenses such as Seattle or Denver, then your name will be mentioned with greats such as Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. Huge expectations were placed on the Raiders in the offseason; now they must live up to them. Yesterday’s collapse against the Falcons could be a sign of more struggles to come.
Photos courtesy of Bay.ca