There are a few stats that Pro Football Focus puts out that need context. This one may be one of them, but regardless, it’s worth noting: Gareon Conley has been perfect in coverage on third down this season.
#Raiders CB Gareon Conley has been thrown at six times on third down, and all six passes have fallen incomplete. He is the only cornerback in the league (min. two targets) who has a 100% success rate on third down.— PFF OAK Raiders (@PFF_Raiders) November 16, 2018
There hasn’t been a lot of sing about with regard to the Raiders secondary, so they will take this small victory for their second year former top pick cornerback.
Conley is tied with Rashaan Melvin for the team lead with 1 interception and 7 passes defended. That ties him for 24th in the league in passes defended.
Where Conley has received the most criticism has not been his coverage so much as his tackling. The biggest, most back-breaking play of last week’s loss to the Chargers was a 66-yard catch and run by Melvin Gordon in which Conley had position but was easily juked and watched Gordon fly by him untouched.
There are six Raiders DB’s who have more tackles than his 21 combined tackles. That’s in a group that typically won’t have more than five guys on the field at any given time and Conley is one of the few to consistently start. The one game he was benched was for poor tackling.
Clearly his coverage is on point. If he can improve his tackling, he can be the cornerback the Raiders hoped he would be when they made him their pick at 24 overall in the 2017 draft.