I've been breaking down the numbers all season. It is a habit of mine that formed when I was about 10 years old.
I used to grab the newspaper and track trends for the Raiders and look for players reaching 1,000 yards or 10-15 touchdowns.
My interest has now grown into stats like passer rating and passer rating against.
This morning as I was gathering info I came across the numbers that support what we have all known to be true but didn't quite want to say about the defense.
As a Raider fan I have hung my interest on Sapp, Burgess and the under 28-year-old squad that they lead.
For the past few weeks we have talked about the BEST PASS DEFENSE.
Well, that is based on yards allowed.
When I looked further this week I saw that we slipped to 2nd passing yards allowed by 1 yard a game behind Chicago, but that is not the point of interest here.
Did you know that teams have passed only 182 times against the Raider D this year?
That is 40 fewer times than they have passed on the 2nd least passed upon team.
That is insane!!!!
This means many things to me:
First of all it means that teams are relying on the run because they know that if they can NOT TURN THE BALL OVER against us and score a couple of times that their defense will shut down our High School B & B offense!!!
The D deserves even more credit than we have been giving them because they are not only on the field more than most teams in the NFL, they are also having to defend the RUN more than ANYONE IN THE NFL!!!!
273 Times the opposing teams have run at the heart of the defense. 273 TIMES!!!!
The game plan that Seattle implemented last night is the same game plan that the league has been using against us AND IT MUST STOP NOW!!!!
Here is another, "Why Walsh Needs to Step Down" stat.
We know that we have been sacked more than anyone else in football, BY FAR, 44 Times (Cleveland has given up the second most at 29)!!!!
We know that we have the worst passing offense in the league, BY FAR, 123 YPG!!! (Buffalo has the 2nd worst at 150.5 YPG)!!!
Now, here is the kicker!!! Are you ready for this???
The Raiders are 12th in the League in Rushing Average and 29th in attempts?!?!?!
The games have all been close so there is no excuse of, "We've been playing from 2-3 scores behind every game and had to pass"!!!
In fact we have passed 177 times and run only 189!!!!
For a team that leads in sacks allowed in a landslide and is breaking in a young QB, there is no excuse worthy of Walsh keeping his job. NONE!
I'm sorry to rant about Walsh there, but these numbers don't lie and they are driving me nuts!!!
So back to the pass defense:
The number that I think is real and shows tremendous improvement for this squad is passer rating against.
The Raiders were 29th in the League in passer rating against in 2005 with a mark of 90.6.
This season they are solidly in 12th with a 76.0.
That makes a difference of facing a Cullpeper or McNair on average as opposed to a Carson Palmer, Eli Manning or Tom Brady every week.
That is HUGE!!!
If you look at the ratings against leaders you see the teams that truly are the best pass defenses in the league at the very top:
- Baltimore 60.1
- Jacksonville 63.5
- Chicago 64.3
I still have some more love for our run D.
Check this OUT!!!
For a team that has been run on more than any in football we have only allowed 4 rushing TD's all year!!!
That is tied for sixth best in the league...SIXTH!!!
The Run D is also 18th in the League for yards per carry against.
Those are PHENOMINAL numbers for an overworked defense!!!
Well, Raider Nation we know that the offense may be the worst in many years in the NFL but we can at least hang our hats on the workmanlike effort of our defense, game in and game out!!!
It is Denver Week and the team is coming home, so let's hope that we can end the losing streak against the AFC West and we can run that Rat-A-Han out of town!!!