Let's look at the key stats from this past week.
Raiders move the football, but struggle to score.
The Raiders only put up 16 points last Sunday, and it seemed like their offense couldn't get anything done on offense. However, they still finished with over 400 yards of production but couldn't finish drives.
Overall, the offense had a success rate of 60 percent, which was efficient for a good portion of the matchup. The rushing attack finished at 70 percent on the day, with the Passing game coming in at 55 percent. The Raiders made it to the red zone six times on the day, which is the same amount as the dominant game vs. the Philadelphia Eagles.
NFL is not a defensive league where you can gut out games with field goals on the regular. The Raiders were at 66 percent the previous two weeks under Greg Olson in the red zone. Hopefully, this was an outlier and not the beginning of a new normal.
Raiders run game dominates in 11 personnel.
The run game for the Raiders has come to life the past three weeks. After it being a weakness the first three weeks, they are one of the best in the NFL and shine in 11 personnel.
Versus the Giants, when they ran the ball in 11 personnel, the offense finished with 85 yards on ten carries. Kenyan Drake and Josh Jacobs combined for nine carries and 84 yards and a success rate of 90 percent on their carries. The disappointing part was that there were only two carries inside the red zone and 16 yards on those runs.
The success rate running out of 11 personnel is 70 percent since Greg Olson became the play-caller. They run out of 11 43 percent of the time, leading to three touchdowns and 187 yards on 30 carries. The switch has revamped a run game based on heavy sets and allows easy boxes for the offense. Expect to keep this strategy going forward.
Yannick Ngakoue has a big day
Yannick Ngakoue was a free-agent signing that was paramount to the Raiders becoming a better defense. Combined with Maxx Crosby, Ngakoue is starting to take off enjoying the one-on-one matchups he is receiving every week.
Ngakoue registered another two sacks making it six in the past three weeks. He had five pressures on the day using PFF metrics, leading the team with a forced turnover. While against the run, he can be sketchy. Raiders brought him here to rush the passer, and he is getting it done.
With the Raiders having a pass rush and more pass-heavy teams on the docket, Ngakoue becomes a difference-maker. This next week against the Chiefs, we might see duplication of this performance against a weaker Kansas City Chiefs offensive line.
Defense struggles on third down.
The defense in 2020 was terrible on third down, and this year has been a 180 from that. Coming into the match last Sunday, the Raiders were ranked 8th at 36.84. After they left MetLife, they fell to 11th after allowing the Giants to go 6 for 12.
The Giants' first drive of the second half converted two 3rd and 8 situations that helped lead to a field goal drive to make a touchdown game. One was a tough catch to Kenny Golladay, and the other matched up Kadarius Tony on Denzel Perryman. It was uncharacteristic of the Raiders, who usually get pressure on third down with their great pass rushers on the defensive line.
This week, the unit will need to bounce back against the Chiefs, who are playing worse than the Giants on offense. The Raiders are hopeful this won't be a trend as we advance, and they continue to get the offense off the field on the money down.