The stats for this team say it all about where this team is heading and what needs to be fixed.
I will update each of these weekly so that we can all see which direction we head in each and every week.
Let's start with the Good News (No not the Bible, but the good numbers)
Even after allowing 301 yards passing to Ben and the Steelers yesterday, the Raiders have maintained their hold on the title of BEST PASS DEFENSE in the NFL (Chomp on That Nancy Gay!!!)
Three of the main reasons are Burgess, Nnamdi and Morrison.
Pass Defense #1 - 159.1 YPG. That is 4.3 YPG less than the "Monsters of the Mid-Season" Chicago Bears!!!
Nnamdi leads the way with 3 picks, one off of the NFL lead, and Morrison is not far behind with two picks of his own.
Of course the pass d would not be what it is without "Big Daddy" Warren Sapp, and "The Beast" Derek Burgess wreaking havoc on the opposing team's O-Line!!!
Burgess has swiftly moved up to 2nd in the league in sacks with 4 and a half sacks in the past two games. Not so surprising is the fact that we won both of those games!!!
Kirk "Under the Radar Raider" Morrison is putting together as good a year as anybody on the defense with 53 tackles, good enough for 18th in the League.
Our 12 takeaways tie the team for 7th in the League with San Diego!!!
After the first game of the year who would have thought that our defense would be ranked up there with Boy From the Hood and his Merriman?
One area in which the team could use some help is on run defense. We are currently 21st in the League. But, at this point that would be splitting hairs.
As you know Defense and Special Teams are what win championships in this great sport.
The Raider Special teams are really excelling this year.
Shane Lechler is leading the AFC in gross yards per punt and he is second in the NFL with his 49.5 yd average.
The kickoff return team is 5th in the NFL, averaging 24.9 yards a return.
Sea-Bass is 9-10 on his FG's this year and his only miss was over 50 yards.
There are two areas that are really hurting right now and they are the punt returning and kick coverage squads.
The punt return team is #31 in the League with a 6.1 average. Compared to the League leaders at 14.6 there is a lot of work to do!!! That is 24 yards a game on average that we are missing out on. It is not the most telling stat, but it is significant when you add it to...
The Kick-Off coverage team is dead last in coverage.
The Raiders allow 27.8 yards per return!!! The best coverage in the NFL allows only 19.3!!! That is another 32-40 yards a game difference...Minimum!!!
The Punt Coverage does not come in much better with a 29th place ranking.
They allow 12.4 yards per return, compared to the best team in the league, San Diego that allows only 4.5 yards per return. Once again, that is 24 yards left on the table. Now in all fairness I do not expect the Raiders to be #1 in all facets of special teams, so let's see how many approximate yards are being left on the table if we were just the average.
Raiders 12.4 Yards
Giants 8.0 Yards
3 Punts per game would make that 13.2 yards
Raiders 27.8 Yards
5 KO's Per Game would make that 22 yards
Raiders 6.1 Yards per return
Buffalo 9.4 Yards per return
At 3 Punts per Game that would be 10 more yards.
That is 42 yards being left on the table per game.
With Cooper over there on our side I am sure that we can improve on this.
In fact, last year we allowed 3.4 less yards per KO return and .6 less yards on punt returns!!!
We were dead last in punt returns though at an even lower 5.6 yards per return.
I'm going to skip the commentary and just give the numbers...They speak for themselves
Turnovers - Last
Sacks Allowed - Last
GA/TA - Last (but did improve by +3 this weekend)
Penalties - 26th
1st down penalties - 26th
Those stats, along with the most imbacilic OC the NFL has ever seen, are completely responsible for the offenses failures and they are all correctable.
When the offense gels, like the defense already has, this will be a fearsome unit. We know that the Randys, Porter and Fargas will not be silent forever!!!
Here is to One Win At a TIME BABY!!!!! Go RRRRAAAIIIDDDEERRSSS!!!!