Can The Oakland Raider Have a Top 5 Defense This Season?

The Oakland Raiders played the Dallas Cowboys yesterday in a surprisingly exciting pre-season game.

The Raiders came out victorious 17-9 after scoring 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter.

While Oakland's offense was somewhat lackluster, the defense was stout and impressive all game.

It held Dallas' offense (which got 399 yards per game in 2009) to 263 yards.

This is a huge difference to last year's Raider defense, which managed to rank 26th overall and allow 361 yards per game.

Major changes have been made to the defense this off-season, with Kirk Morrison getting traded, Gerard Warren getting released, and Richard Seymour moving to defensive tackle.

New starters include LaMarr Houston, Kamerion Wimbley, and Rolando McClain.

The defense clearly proved that Dallas' first, second, and third string offense was no match for them.

The Raiders look poised to have a top five defense this season. However, there are some concerns and factors that need to be considered. Let's take a look.


The defense's biggest concerns should be the Colts, Chargers, and Texans. The Titans also have a solid offense, but expect for Chris Johnson's numbers to diminish a bit. The Raiders play the Colts in week 16. Most likely, Indianapolis' regular offense will be not playing, so Oakland's defense should have no problem holding them under 150 yards.

The Chargers have two key offensive players prepared to hold out most of the season: Marcus McNeill and Vincent Jackson.

Expect for LaMarr Houston to have plenty of sacks against them this season as they have no valid replacement for McNeill, who is a left tackle. San Diego has some good replacements at receiver, but Jackson is still a big loss for the offense. The secondary could still have some trouble against Phillip Rivers, though.

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