Oakland Raiders: Defensive Line Taking Team To New Heights

D.J. O'ConnorSenior Analyst IIIAugust 19, 2010

ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 12: Jon Kitna #3 of the Dallas Cowboys looks to pass against Lamarr Houston #99 of the Oakland Raiders during the preseason game at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium on August 12, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

There were several notes to take from the win at Dallas and there will be just as many to take from Saturday's game at Chicago.  One of those is the improvement of the D-line.

In the first quarter (meaning with the starters on both teams) the Raiders got after Tony Romo and didn't allow a run longer than five yards.  Most of that was with a four man rush.

The credit can go to a few people.  One, Mike Waufle who returned to Oakland after five years with the Giants as D-line coach.  Another is Richard Seymour who moved inside to tackle and the results are instantly better.

But two young men that deserve the most credit are DE's Lamarr Houston and Matt Shaugnessy.  They both recorded two sacks each in the first half. 

With Houston, the question was how can he switch from tackle to end and with Shaugnessy it was can he start?

They both quickly responded with a "damn right we can!" 

With the improved pass rush and run defense that allowed one run of five yards (Marion Barber) the Raiders defense held the dangerous Dallas offense to three points in the first half.

With that kind of shut down defense, the Raiders will be able to stay in games with offensive struggles and win games by scoring maybe 10 or 14 points.

We should expect more of our offense, but it's a good insurance policy to have that defense.