Throughout the franchise’s history, when the Oakland Raiders are good, their offensive line is good. Some of the best offensive linemen of all time wore the silver and black and it looks like the 2019 version of the offensive line could stack up with some of the best. According to ESPN, the Raiders offensive line has the fifth-best Pass Black Win Rate in the NFL. ESPN explained what exactly that means:
“Our Pass Block Win Rate metric tells us the rate at which linemen can sustain their blocks for 2.5 seconds or longer,” said the article.
This fact is huge considering Oakland’s offensive line was significantly worse last season. The improvement is thanks in large part to the addition of right tackle Trent Brown. Simply put, Brown has been one of the best offensive linemen in the NFL in 2019. The Raiders invested big-time in him and he’s making them happy with his decision. Per the ESPN study, Brown has the highest Pass Block Win Rate out of every offensive tackle in the NFL with a score of 95%.
Rodney Hudson is another player who showed up on the leaderboard. It’s been long known that Hudson is probably the best pass-blocking center in the NFL. However, he is ranked sixth amongst centers in Pass Block Win Rate with a score of 96%. The Raiders won’t complain too much about him being ranked sixth. He’s been one of the most consistent players on the team for many years at this point.
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Don’t Forget About Kolton Miller
Brown and Hudson aren’t the only reasons the offensive line has been playing so well. In fact, Brown didn’t play against the Green Bay Packers in Week 7 and the team still didn’t allow a sack. Second-year left tackle Kolton Miller deserves a lot of credit. Opinions on him were low after an abysmal rookie season. He’s completely turned things around in year two. Offensive/defensive line analyst Brandon Thorn explains how he’s improved:
Miller is still young and should continue to improve. With Gabe Jackson back and Richie Incognito settling into the left guard spot, the Raiders offensive line could be even higher on ESPN’s list by the end of the season. They just need to hope that Trent Brown gets healthy because if he doesn’t, the team will eventually feel his loss as they still face teams with fierce pass rushes.
The Pass Rush Needs Work
Speaking of pass rushes, the Raiders don’t have one. According to the same ESPN study, Oakland has the third-worst Pass Rush Win Rate in the NFL. The team is currently 26th in the NFL with 1.7 sacks per game. While they have improved over last season, the defensive line is still not great. The front office tried to address the issue by drafting Clelin Ferrell with the fourth-overall pick, but he only has one sack on the year. Benson Mayowa has been very productive and leads the team with 4.5 sacks on the year.
Rumors are that the Raiders are trying to trade for some pass rush help, but haven’t brought in a big name yet. If they’re serious about getting to the playoffs this year, general manager Mike Mayock should make a run at top pass-rushing talent. 1.7 sacks a game isn’t going to be enough to beat the top teams in the AFC.