The Raiders offensive line hasn’t looked like themselves of late. Over the past two games especially, the elite group has received a lot of criticism. The running game can’t find lanes and Derek Carr appears to be under more pressure than he had been all last season.
The run game criticisms, from what I have gathered, are justified. But as far as their work against the pass rush, looks can be deceiving. According to Pro Football Focus, they are still the league’s top pass blocking group.
How can this be, you ask? Well, outside of the debacle in Washington in week three, in which they gave up 4.0 sacks, the line as currently assembled has given up just one sack this season. And the 19 total pressures are the lowest in the NFL.
Derek Carr was sacked twice in the season opener, with both of those charged to Vadal Alexander who came in for a series at right tackle in place of Marshal Newhouse. That rotation experiment ended quickly. Carr wasn’t sacked against the Jets in week two.
Last week the Broncos had three sacks against the Raiders. Two on Carr and one on EJ Manuel. Neither of those sacks was the fault of the offensive line.
The first sack on Carr was given up by Gabe Jackson. It became the first and only sack the currently constructed Oline has given up this season. The second sack on Carr was his own fault for holding the ball too long. He scrambled around in traffic and then fell to the ground and injured his back on Adam Gotsis’s knee.
The third sack was courtesy of Derek Wolfe holding Marshall Newhouse by the collar while Von Miller got a free rush around the edge to get to Manuel.
So, yeah, pass blocking is good. Now the run blocking on the other hand...ugh.
Editor’s note: There was a correction in this article. Originally it said there were two sacks vs the Broncos. There were three, with one charged to offensive guard Gabe Jackson.