Oakland Raiders’ Strengths Become Weaknesses in Loss to Detroit Lions

As the Oakland Raiders developed hope for the future, two things became apparent staples in most games until recently: The run defense would hold ball-carriers under 100 rushing yards, and the passing offense would put up points in bunches.

Those strengths, along with the Raiders' playoff hopes, took a critical hit during Sunday's 18-13 loss to the Detroit Lions.

Oakland has allowed an average of 189 rushing yards per game in the last three contests and failed to stop the worst rushing attack in the league on Sunday. The Lions maintained possession for the final seven-and-a-half minutes of the game thanks to their trio of running backs.

The Raiders’ high-powered offense has scored 27 combined points in two games and failed to score in four consecutive quarters from the second half of the previous outing into the first half of Sunday’s game.

Oakland’s defense cannot sustain success on any level without the offense either scoring points or at least controlling possession with the ground attack. In order to regain a competitive edge, the Raiders must add extra wrinkles to the offensive game plan to help out a now-healthy defense.


Commitment to Excellence

The news concerning edge-rusher Aldon Smith’s suspension dropped expectations on the pass rush, but the Raiders maintained a high level of intense pressure in the pocket.

The best aspect of the Raiders' relentless pass rush focuses on two young talents who recorded sacks. Defensive lineman Benson Mayowa and linebacker Ben Heeney each logged a takedown on Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.

It’s encouraging to see a rookie and a modest free-agent pickup flourish when given the opportunity to play.

As a rookie, Heeney became a fan favorite in the preseason for his motor and ability to cover the run sideline to sideline. He also sho...

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