After weeks of struggles, the Las Vegas Raiders offensive line showed some signs of life against the Denver Broncos. One of the biggest positions of struggles has been at center where Andre James has gotten off to a rough start. Some fans wanted to see backup veteran Nick Martin step in but it looks like the Raiders are going to stick it out with James.
Another option could’ve been rookie seventh-round pick Jimmy Morrissey but he’s now off to another team. According to Aaron Wilson, the Houston Texans have poached Morrissey off the Raiders’ practice squad and signed him to their active roster. He never got a chance to play for Las Vegas but should see the field for the Texans.
Coming out of Notre Dame, Morrissey struggled in pass protection. Raiders offensive line coach Tom Cable could’ve worked some magic to improve that part of his game but that remains to be seen. With James and Martin on the active roster, the Raiders should be fine with losing some depth at center.
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Raiders DL Outshining OL
Over the past several years, the Raiders’ offensive lines have been significantly better than the defensive lines. Quarterback Derek Carr has been kept clean and so was opposing quarterbacks. However, that’s completely flipped this year. The Raiders have proven to have one of the best defensive lines in the NFL this season. The defense is sixth in the league with 16 sacks. The team had 21 sacks throughout the entirety of last season.
The Raiders cut costs on the offensive line in the offseason in order to bolster the defensive line. The team was able to sign Yannick Ngakoue, which has certainly been a big help. However, the decrease in quality on the offensive line has been significant. So far, the defensive line improvement has been a major reason the Raiders have been able to overcome offensive deficiencies. The team has to hope that holds up throughout the season.
Maxx Crosby Makes Bold Claim About Raiders DL
Defensive end Maxx Crosby has been a man possessed this season. Through six games, he has five sacks and leads the NFL with 11 quarterback hits and 43 total pressures. Crosby credited his coaches for the major improvement.
“Coach [Gus] Bradley and coach [Rod] Marinelli, they always talk about it: (Sacks) come in bunches,” Crosby said Sunday. “I feel like we’ve been rushing really well; we just haven’t finished. Today, we finished. We got to the quarterback consistently.”
Crosby also had a bold claim about the Raiders’ defensive line.
“We feel like we’re one of the best D-lines in the league; if not the best,” Crosby said. “And that’s how we carry ourselves.”
Three’s no doubt the defensive line has developed into one of the better units in the NFL. It’s too early to say it’s the best in the league but they are on an upward trajectory. At the end of the year, the Raiders could in fact have the best defensive line.