For the second week in a row, the Raiders made the opposing quarterback look like God. With exception to a great interception in the endzone by David Amerson, Matt Ryan had his way with the Raiders pass defense. Sean "burnt toast" Smith was embarrassed once again after Julio Jones ran right by him for an easy touchdown. The Raiders linebackers still haven't gotten the memo to cover tight ends, I am honestly starting to believe they wear invisibility cloaks.
As for the pass rush, there were flashes when Khalil Mack and company almost made a big play, but the key word in that statement is almost. For a group to be hyped as much as they were, the Raiders front-seven has been a massive disappointment through two games. David Amerson's made several nice plays. His performance was the only reason this grade is not even worse.
If it seemed watching the game that Devonta Freeman was averaging five yards every time he touched the ball, it is because he was. Freeman finished the game with 93 rushing yards (5.5 yards per carry) and his teammate Tevin Coleman chipped in with 46 yards on the ground and a touchdown.
What makes the past two outings especially disappointing for this defense is that the Saints and Falcons offensive lines really are not that great. But despite this, the Raiders defensive line has been consistently manhandled and has failed to generate pressure in the backfield.
I love how intense Ken Norton Jr is as he brings intensity to this team. But at the end of the day, a defensive coordinator needs to call effective defensive schemes and the Raiders Defensive Coordinator has failed to do so through two games. While the players are also to blame, Norton's defense needs to step it up or he could find himself on the hot seat.
His defense has given up 1,035 total yards and 69 points in the first two games which breaks the 65-year record for most yards allowed through two games.
Overall Defensive Grade: F
Sebastian Janikowski converted each of his four extra point attempts but shanked a 58-yard field goal at the end of the first half. Marquette King once again had himself a day but the Raiders punt team gave up a long return that led to a field goal for the Falcons. Taiwan Jones also dropped the ball on a kickoff return that led to the Raiders drive starting at their own three-yard line.