We’re two games into the 2018 season and only one team in the NFL has fewer sacks than the Oakland Raiders. That team is the 0-2 New York Giants with just one sack. The Raiders have had a sack in each of their two games, both in the first half, while the defense collapsed in the second half.
It has head coach Jon Gruden searching for answers. Where could the Raiders possibly have found pass rush this season? Some mysteries are just impossible to solve.
Some suggestions as to why the team isn’t getting any pass rush are that they simply don’t have an elite pass rusher in-house. Though I don’t know where everyone expects they were supposed to get one.
“It’s hard to find a great one. It’s hard to find a good one. It’s hard to find one,” Gruden said of the difficulties in discovering a pass rusher, noting that fewer college QB’s are dropping back to pass these days.
This week the Raiders head to Miami to face the Dolphins, who have a couple good pass rushers in Cameron Wake and Robert Quinn. Gruden in particular admired the trade the Dolphins made to bring in a great pass rusher like Quinn.
“Wake has a history of being a troublesome guy, but I think a great trade they made was Quinn,” Gruden said Wednesday. “He raises hell off the edge. He can bend the edge, is very athletic, plays hard, I love his motor. . . he’s giving them a lot of high effort rushes down in and down out. I really like the addition of Quinn and they’ve emerged I think.”
Maybe a trade for a pass rusher is the answer in Oakland? Something to keep an eye on for sure.
The Raiders came into the season with Bruce Irvin, who has averaged just over six sacks per season in his career, and... hm.
The team drafted Hurst and currently injured fellow defensive tackle PJ Hall to complement the outside pass rushers, but that would require outside pass rushers to complete the equation.
Third round rookie Arden Key doesn’t have a sack to his name yet, but he leads the team with three QB hits. Irvin has two. Tank Carradine looked like he was set to be the starter on one side, but he was a healthy scratch in the opener, and did nothing in 24 snaps vs the Broncos. 35-year-old castoff Frostee Rucker had a pressure last week, but has yet to log a QB hit or sack. Fadol Brown showed some promise in the preseason, but was inactive last week. Tuesday the team dipped into the practice squad to call up former third round pick Shilique Calhoun. He of 0.5 career sacks over two seasons.
Not sure why that group of isn’t enough.
Regardless, this is what they have. I mean, it’s not like edge rushers grow on trees or something. People act like Gruden just walked onto a team with an elite pass rusher already under contract or something. I mean, come on.