For those with short memories, it’s easy to forget the Oakland Raiders of the 70s and 80s were known for their amazing defenses. It’s been quite a long time since that’s been the case. There was a brief time in the 2000s when the team had a top pass defense, but they were still weak at stopping running backs. No matter who coaches or what personnel the team brings on, they can’t seem to figure out how to fix that side of the ball.
The Raiders are in the midst of one of the worst slumps in team history and while the offense hasn’t done much, the defense has somehow been even worse. When you look at the numbers things get even scarier.
Guenther Under the Gun
Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther may have had success while he was coaching the Cincinnati Bengals, but that hasn’t translated to the Raiders. Josh Dubow of the Associated Press revealed just how bad his defenses have been since he took over.
In terms of yards per play allowed, the Raiders are the absolute worst in the NFL since 2018. The defense is second-worst in points per game allowed and opponents’ passer rating. Now, Guenther deserves a mulligan for 2018 because the front office gave him almost nothing to work with and traded away his best player just before the season started. He also had almost no young talent to work with.
Guenther will probably expect another pass this year because of all the injuries and suspension. He lost both starting safeties, Vontaze Burfict and Arden Key. However, when most of the players were on the field, the unit still didn’t look great. Gruden is a big fan of his, so that works in his favor. Guenther should definitely be feeling the heat these last few games, but barring an absolute collapse, Gruden will probably give him one more shot heading into 2020. One thing is for sure, if the defense continues to play like one of the worst in the NFL next season, the defensive coordinator could be on his way out before the season ends.
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The Raiders haven’t just been losing, they’ve been losing in embarrassing fashion. They’ve allowed over 40 points in the last to games and according to Dubow, that’s the first time they’ve done it since 2012.
That’s not even mentioning just how bad they’ve when their opponents don’t have great field position.
Those long drives are killer and the Raiders give up far too many.
3rd Quarter Woes
If Oakland could just eliminate the third quarter of games altogether, they’d probably have a much better win-loss record. The 2019 rendition of the Raiders defense has given up an absurd amount of points in the third quarter.
As Dubow points out, the only team to have worse point differential since 2000 was the 2012 Raiders. That team went 4-12 and was one of the worst teams in the NFL. This current team is 6-7 and still has every chance to finish the season over .500.