For all the focus the Raiders made on the secondary in the draft and with the hire of John Pagano to be Assistant Head Coach - Defense, it has yet to yield a single interception. And we’re six games in.
If you’re thinking that seems like some kind of record, you’re kinda right. Only two other teams in NFL history have had zero interceptions at this point in the season. This little stat was pointed out Sunday evening by Josh Dubow of the Associated Press.
Dubow says thru 5 games, but he means 6 games, which makes more sense as his stats was immediately following the Raiders’ week 6 loss to the Chargers in which they again had no interceptions.
Last season the Raiders had their first interception in week two against the Falcons. They had five interceptions by week five and finished with 16 picks which was 9th most in the NFL. Even with the secondary giving up big plays, they often made up for it by being opportunistic.
Week seven for both the 1997 Titans (then the Oilers) and 2002 Bills made up some ground. The Oilers had three picks on Washington QB Gus Frerotte and the Bills picked off four passes on Dolphins QB Ray Lucas.
Next week the Raiders will face Alex Smith who has yet to throw an interception this season. Should that streak continue, the Raiders would become the only team in NFL history not to have an interception in their first seven games of the season.
This streak is stunning in an of itself. It becomes all the more perplexing when you consider last season in San Diego under Pagano as Defensive Coordinator, the Chargers tied for the most interceptions in the NFL (18).