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Many will blame the departure of All-Pro corner Nnamdi Asomugha for the demise of the Raiders secondary. The a loss Asomugha doesn't help but the secondary would still be a great unit if it weren't for key injuries.
When I made the prediction of the Raiders beating the Patriots, it was based on Michael Huff playing in the game. I assumed (you know what that does) that he would play because he passed his concussion test.
He also had an ankle injury so who knows what happened there?
Chris Johnson was also out—hurting the secondary more.
I know he didn't play well to begin the season but that's because he was just coming off of surgery on his groin. He was a statistical top-five corner in the NFL last year so you can clearly see that injuries have affected him.
Huff is excellent in covering the slot so his presence would have helped slow down Wes Welker. Then you have Mike Mitchell, who wasn't on the field a whole lot because this was his first action of 2011.
Mitchell is the physical presence of the secondary and does a good job of covering the tight end. His presence was probably missed the least of the three because Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski didn't do much.
I didn't even see too much of rookie Damarcus Van Dyke, who was replace by the abused Joe Porter. With so many guys out in the secondary, the Raiders are lucky the final score wasn't worse.
Raider Nation has yet to see the Raiders secondary at full strength.