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Raiders week one snap counts vs Rams: Arden Key, Bruce Irvin split defensive snaps, generate little pressure

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NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Oakland Raiders Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

With the Raiders trading Khalil Mack last week, the question that hung over the Raiders was how they were going to replace his production. Namely how were they going to generate pass rush. We got our first peek at those plans Monday night and it was not inspiring.

Most figured this was Bruce Irvin’s time to step up and fill the void, both from a leadership standpoint and a production standpoint.

Irvin didn’t even play half the snaps on defense. He was often seen standing on the sideline, replaced by rookie Arden Key.

It was a bit odd, actually. Irvin had the Raiders only sack in the game on an otherwise nearly pass rush bereft defensive line that had a total of two QB hits in the game. Gruden blamed the Rams ability to run the ball for the lack of pass rush.

“When you can run the ball like they ran it in the second half it’s very hard to rush the passer,” said Gruden. “Obviously we didn’t get to Jared [Goff] enough and we didn’t dig early enough. We will take a look at the reasons why we didn’t.”

Hopefully Gruden takes a look at the tape from Sunday night to find his answer.

Arden Key was particularly disappointing considering the kind of skills he showed in training camp. He pointed to a combination of nerves and the Rams game plan as to why he was ineffective.

“Yeah, I was a little nervous at the beginning. I got confident throughout the game,” said Key. “What we saw on film was different than what they did. They run a ton of boots. They tried to slow our rush. Attackers got on us quick. There weren’t sets, when they gave sets we were slow because the jumped us a lot. They kicked back on us. The things they did on film weren’t what they did a ton today.”

To be fair, Tank Carradine was unexpectedly inactive with for undisclosed reasons. Also, to be fair, Carradine isn’t known for his pass rush. He’s more of a run stopper, which may have at least helped in stopping Todd Gurley from running all over the Raiders’ defense. Frostee Rucker saw 65% of the snaps as well and had 2 tackles.

Another interesting note is despite all the talk from Defensive Coordinator that the secondary would rotate, they really didn’t. Starters Gareon Conley, Leon Hall, Reggie Nelson, and Marcus Gilchrist played nearly every snap. Rashaan Melvin played 78% of the snaps with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie getting in for 20 snaps (32%). Karl Joseph saw 7 snaps and offseason favorite Erik Harris didn’t see a snap on defense.

Week one snap counts

. . Offense . Defense . Special Tms .
. . Offense . Defense . Special Tms .
Player Pos Num Pct Num Pct Num Pct
Gabe Jackson G 74 100% 0 0% 4 13%
Kolton Miller T 74 100% 0 0% 4 13%
Donald Penn T 74 100% 0 0% 4 13%
Rodney Hudson C 74 100% 0 0% 3 10%
Derek Carr QB 74 100% 0 0% 0 0%
Kelechi Osemele G 74 100% 0 0% 0 0%
Jordy Nelson WR 72 97% 0 0% 0 0%
Amari Cooper WR 69 93% 0 0% 0 0%
Jared Cook TE 67 91% 0 0% 0 0%
Seth Roberts WR 47 64% 0 0% 0 0%
Jalen Richard RB 37 50% 0 0% 3 10%
Marshawn Lynch RB 27 36% 0 0% 0 0%
Derek Carrier TE 25 34% 0 0% 18 58%
Doug Martin RB 10 14% 0 0% 0 0%
Lee Smith TE 9 12% 0 0% 15 48%
Keith Smith FB 7 9% 0 0% 18 58%
Tahir Whitehead LB 0 0% 63 100% 9 29%
Reggie Nelson FS 0 0% 63 100% 1 3%
Leon Hall CB 0 0% 62 98% 3 10%
Gareon Conley DB 0 0% 57 90% 2 6%
Marcus Gilchrist FS 0 0% 56 89% 13 42%
Rashaan Melvin CB 0 0% 49 78% 9 29%
Justin Ellis NT 0 0% 45 71% 7 23%
Frostee Rucker DT 0 0% 41 65% 6 19%
Derrick Johnson LB 0 0% 39 62% 1 3%
P.J. Hall DT 0 0% 32 51% 8 26%
Arden Key DE 0 0% 32 51% 8 26%
Bruce Irvin LB 0 0% 31 49% 9 29%
Marquel Lee LB 0 0% 24 38% 26 84%
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie CB 0 0% 20 32% 11 35%
Fadol Brown DE 0 0% 17 27% 1 3%
Shilique Calhoun LB 0 0% 12 19% 14 45%
Karl Joseph SS 0 0% 7 11% 14 45%
Emmanuel Lamur LB 0 0% 1 2% 1 3%
Erik Harris SS 0 0% 0 0% 26 84%
Kyle Wilber LB 0 0% 0 0% 26 84%
Nicholas Morrow LB 0 0% 0 0% 18 58%
Keon Hatcher WR 0 0% 0 0% 16 52%
Dwayne Harris WR 0 0% 0 0% 15 48%
Mike Nugent K 0 0% 0 0% 8 26%
Johnny Townsend P 0 0% 0 0% 8 26%
Brandon Parker T 0 0% 0 0% 4 13%
Jon Feliciano G 0 0% 0 0% 4 13%
Andrew DePaola LS 0 0% 0 0% 2 6%