All the excitement that surrounded the Las Vegas Raiders after a strong start to the season has quickly faded. The team played pretty spotless games in the first two weeks but have gotten really sloppy lately. The offense has turned the ball over quite a bit and it doesn’t help that the defense has been atrocious thus far.
In Week 4, the defense once again had a really bad day and allowed 30 points. They’ve now allowed 30 or more points in three of four games. A big problem that’s facing the Raiders defense is that they don’t force turnovers. They have only forced two in four games. Head coach Jon Gruden called out the defense for not making plays.
“We got to get turnovers from our defense, that’s a big story here, also,” Gruden said after the loss. “We’re not getting any turnovers. I think we’ve got one on the season, maybe two.”
The Raider defense can’t stop anybody and they can’t get turnovers. It’s a recipe for disaster. The offense has been good so far but they have to play perfectly to win. Once they start turning the ball over and the defense allows the opponent to score, it’s hard for them to play catch up.
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Paul Guenther’s Seat Has to Be Heating Up
Gruden has made it clear that he believes in defensive coordinator Paul Guenther. Unfortunately, he hasn’t done much with the Raiders’ defense to inspire confidence. He’s now in his third year and the defense doesn’t look like it’s gotten any better. What works against Guenther is that the team has done everything they can to help him field a strong unit.
They’ve used three first-round picks on defensive players over the last two years and invested a lot of money in free agency this year. Guenther has plenty of talent to work with but they’re not seeing results. While Gruden doesn’t seem eager to fire his defensive coordinator, he can only watch so many games where opposing offenses score at will.
Gruden Talks Guenther’s Decision to Coach From the Box
Guenther did attempt to switch things up against the Buffalo Bills and coached from the box. Gruden explained why the defensive coordinator made the change.
“[He] went up so we could see better, we’re playing a lot of new players, and I think it worked out pretty good, good communication with middle linebackers from the box, good communicating with the staff as well.”
It’s obvious the Raiders need to try things out to help the defense but Guenther’s decision to coach from the box didn’t work. Guenther has had success as a defensive coordinator before but for some reason, it’s not working with the Raiders. Rod Marinelli is on staff and he’s a very successful defensive coordinator. If the defense can’t turn things around soon, the Raiders need to consider making a drastic change.