The Las Vegas Raiders defense had their best game of the season in Week 5 and things are finally looking up for the group. There is plenty of talent on the defense, they’ve just had a really hard time bringing things together. With a stiff test against a loaded Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense up next, the defense will get a big chance to show that Week 5 wasn’t a fluke.
2019 first-round pick Clelin Ferrell has been criticized from the moment the Raiders drafted him. A lackluster rookie campaign only made the criticisms louder. After his best game ever against the Kansas City Cheifs, Ferrell is done with the naysayers.
“We don’t give a damn what nobody got to say but it’s like, you hear the talk about me … they talk about Derek Carr … like everybody on our team has had some type of criticism and so have the coaches, you know what I mean? Because everybody just wants to put the blame on somebody, but like, at the end of the day, we don’t worry about none of that because we know how it is,” Ferrell said on Silver & Black Today.
Ferrell also went on to talk about how nobody cares about one good defensive performance if the defense just goes back to struggling. The Raiders have been anything but consistent on defense and things aren’t about to get much easier.
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Can the Raiders Slow Down the Buccaneers?
After a sloppy start to the season, the Buccaneers finally hit their stride in Week 6 with a dominant win over the previously undefeated Green Bay Packers. Tampa Bay’s defense was dominant but their offense has been good, as well. They are 10th in the NFL in points per game. With Chris Godwin making his way back into the lineup, the Raiders are going to have to deal with two elite wide receivers.
It’ll be another tough test for the defense. It’s hard to know right now exactly how they will do. If they can put together a strong effort, then the Raiders defense may have finally turned a corner.
Are the Raiders a Playoff Team?
Through five games, the Raiders are now 3-2. That’s typically a decent start but considering the team’s schedule, it’s an excellent start. All five of the teams the Raiders have played this year have gotten off to strong starts and three of the teams have winning records. It’s still a little too early to tell but Las Vegas is starting to look like a playoff team.
Their schedule gets significantly easier to finish up the season and it’s hard to imagine they don’t at least win nine games. A win against the Buccaneers would be massive for the Raiders. If they can pull that off, they will have to be considered among the NFL’s best teams. Back-to-back wins versus Super Bowl contenders is not an illusion. Time will tell if this Raiders team is for real but it’s obvious that they’ve at least taken steps in the right direction.