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 everywhere and has recorded 29 tackles. He has been a huge factor in the defense as well.
It's nice to see the defense tied for first in sacks and shows that the Oakland Raider defense can get through some tough opposing lines and sack QBs. This is exactly what they will need if they are to make it to the playoffs.
The Oakland Raider defense will have its hands full when they take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh. This should be their toughest opponent and if the defense shows up then the Raiders should have no problem taking the AFC West title.
Isn't that what Raiders do anyway? Take what ever they want.
The Oakland Raiders defense has become so much more improved compared to last season. With seven games left to the playoffs, the defense will have to hurry quarterbacks and cause bad passes. They can not allow QBs like Ben Rothlesberger to sit in the pocket and get the ball down field.
Since the Oakland Raiders possess the best CB in the NFL, QB Ben Roethlisberger may have no choice but to hand off to the running backs. The Oakland Raiders are basically strong all around. I am still a bit worried about CB Chris Johnson and suspect teams will go after him.
As fans of the Oakland Raiders, it's great to see the defense has returned. Overall, if they can defeat the Steelers next week, the Miami Dolphins should be another win. This defense is a whole lot faster and the coverage is just excellent.
The Oakland Raiders do in fact possess a Superbowl worthy defensive line. Provided they can all stay healthy throughout the rest of this season it's very likely that they can take it to the 2010 Superbowl.
It would fill the hearts of Raiders fans with joy to use the Steelers as a springboard to take the AFC title. Should the Oakland Raiders make it to the Superbowl it will be an amazing feat, not to mention that they can get this win in the Dallas Cowboys newly built stadium. I love it already. Seeing the Silver and Black take it to the opponents on Jerry Jones' big screens.
Heads up Raider Nation because the Oakland Raiders are much improved and the defense and also special teams can get the Raiders into the 2010 Superbowl!