Highlighting Oakland Raiders’ 3 Biggest Weaknesses and How to Fix Them

The Oakland Raiders are far better than they were a year ago, starting the 2015 season at 2-3. 

But the team still has a handful of glaring weaknesses that will need to be fixed if it wants to contend for a playoff spot going forward. 

With that, let's get right into it.


1. Pass rush

The Raiders pass rush hasn't exactly been elite this season despite the presence of Khalil Mack and Aldon Smith. Mack has tallied three sacks on the season while Smith has 1.5.

Oakland has 10 sacks on the season, which is tied for 21st in the league. It's not an awful number, but it isn't what fans and coaches were expecting after the team improved its front seven in the offseason. 

With a Week 7 matchup against a San Diego Chargers team that has allowed 17 sacks on the season, it'll be imperative for the Raiders to successfully attack quarterback Philip Rivers. 


How to fix it

Get creative with linebacker blitzes. In a Week 1 blowout loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, the Raiders didn't blitz a single time. Since then, head coach Jack Del Rio and defensive coordinator Ken Norton have had success with sending linebackers at opposing quarterbacks. 

Malcolm Smith is an essential part of this team's blitzing schemes and overall defense. Take a look at how quickly Smith blows by the Denver Broncos' right guard to bring down Peyton Manning in this video:

If that's not enough evidence for you, take a look at Smith's stats through five games:

With a Raiders secondary that has yet to hold an opposing quarterback to less than 254 yards passing in a game this season, it's imperative the front seven give the defensive backs as much help as possible. 

Speaking of the team's next issue to analyze...


2. Pass defense

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Oakland Raiders