If Defenses Win Super Bowls Then The Oakland Raiders Are Right On Track

The Oakland Raiders back in the Superbowl? Kind of early to be talking that way but this is the NFL and anything is possible. How many times have we heard that defenses win Superbowls? So let's look at the Oakland Raider defense. Do the Oakland Raiders have the personnel to rush the quarterback? Can they shut down the pass or sack opposing quarterbacks?

Lets have a look at the Raiders defense this season. At this point, the Oakland Raiders are tied with the San Diego Chargers for most sacks in the AFC with 27. But when it comes to interceptions they are in a four way tie with only five.

Oddly enough the Tennessee Titans are ranked No. 1 with 13 and the Pittsburgh Steelers are second with 11. My only explanation for this is that when teams face the Raiders they avoid the coverage of the best CB in the NFL Nnamdi Asomugha. This forces the running game.

How do the Raiders rank in tackles overall? They are ranked seventh with 429 tackles while the Tennessee Titans are No. 1 with 477. So far it appears that the Titans are the superior team when it comes to defense, but the Oakland Raiders average 20.9 points per game. Not bad. They are ranked 10th in this category with the Bills leading at 29.1

Enough of the numbers talk. It's the players who make the difference. To begin with, the Oakland Raiders added two solid veteran lineman when they picked up Richard Seymour and Kamerion Wimbley.

Richard Seymour is the fourth ranked overall lineman in the AFC with 4.5 sacks and 39 tackles. His presence on the field is huge and motivational for rookie newcomers Rolando McClain and veteran Wimbley, who also has 4.5 sacks and 32 tackles.

DE Matt Shaughnessy has recorded five sacks and 25 tackles. While Tommy Kelly has another five sacks and both are ranked 20th in the AFC. In fact it appears that the Oakland Raiders have made some excellent choices when picking defensive linemen.

S Mike Mitchell is eve...

About the Author