Oakland Raiders: What If This Team Played in a 5-2 Defense

Before you light your torches and sharpen your pitchforks, read the article. 

A 5-2 defense is one that is no longer used in the NFL on a normal basis.  Teams prefer the 4-3 and 3-4 schemes.  Both have their flaws and strengths.

The 5-2's biggest strength is obviously playing the against the run.  With five down linemen, teams think twice about trying to run down the middle where there are three big defensive tackles bunched together.  

The Raiders had an atrocious season in 2011.  They were 27th against the run and allowed 5.1 yards a carry, good for dead last in the NFL.  

Passing wise, the Raiders were not too bad, coming in at 11th overall against the pass.  A switch to the 5-2 could hurt the passing game, but not to such an extent that calls for worry.  

The Raiders are all about man coverage with corners playing one on one.  It's a new regime, but that's the Raider mystique and I don't see that much of a change when it comes to zone or man.  The defensive backs will remained unaffected by the 5-2 defense.

Well, not entirely unaffected.  They might even benefit from the change.  Think about the great defenses of the past, like the 1985 Bears or the Grits Blitz Falcons.  

Both brought unique blitzing packages that overloaded the line of scrimmage.  The Raiders have one of the better defensive lines in the NFL, despite their underachieving 2011 campaign, and can wreak havoc on any offense. 

In this article, I'm focusing on a tight 5-2 defense where the five down linemen are closely packed together rather than spread about in a 3-4 manner.  We'll start by seeing who would play what position and its overall effects.  

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