It was clear last season that the league was well aware of how good the Raiders offensive line was. They had three Pro Bowlers and an All Pro and were held up as one of the best in football. Though the Cowboys line seemed to widely be considered as superior. That may not be the case anymore.
We’re just two games in, so obviously it’s a bit early to make any proclamations, but they’ve been off to an elite start, and have shown signs they could be even better than they were before.
Last season, Derek Carr was sacked 18 times, which was the fewest in the league. Eight of those sacks were charged to the offensive line, with the interior of Kelechi Osemele, Rodney Hudson, and Gabe Jackson giving up none. The one sack was given up by Donald Penn and it happened to be the one that resulted in Derek Carr’s broken fibula..
Through two games, Carr has been sacked twice which is tied for the fewest sacks allowed in the NFL. Both of those sacks came in the season opener in Tennessee and both came on the single drive in which Vadal Alexander was in at right tackle. He surrendered a sack and a pressure that helped result in a sack.
Alexander is not the team’s starting right tackle, Marshall Newhouse is. Which means the offensive line as intended for all but that one drive has not given up a single sack this season.
Since sacks aren’t the be-all, end-all of things, it’s important to look at pressures as well. And according to Sport Radar, they lead the league in that category as well, giving up pressures a league low 11.3% of the time.
Derek Carr deserves some credit here as well because he tends to get the ball out quickly which helps the line out greatly.
As for rushing, the Raiders are currently 5th in the league averaging 144.5 yards per game. They finished last season 6th in the league averaging 120.1 yards per game.
While the Titans are a very good team, there will also be greater challenges ahead than the Raiders saw in the Jets last week. But so far so good for the big men up front.