The Las Vegas Raiders are one of the worst teams in football on third down. One of those reasons is pressure, where the offensive line has allowed 13 sacks on the money down eight in the NFL.
That changed on Monday afternoon vs. the Cleveland Browns as the Raiders’ offense had its best third-down game since Week 3 (yes, Week 3!). The Raiders went 6/14 and achieved their second-highest conversion rate of the season at 46 per cent.
While he wasn't a vast factor in the game, Jalen Richard's presence on third and longs seemed to help. Richard is the third-down back with Kenyan Drake out and makes Derek Carr feel comfortable in the pocket.
The play below is the perfect example. The Browns will be sending a blitz with five players coming after the passer. Knowing him off his feet, Richard knows where the line will slide and meets the defensive in the gap for a massive block.
Jalen Richard blasted 35! it's no coincidence the offensive line plays better on third with him in the lineup. pic.twitter.com/gto2OtleKe— Marcus Johnson (@TheMarcJohnNFL) December 22, 2021
If he keeps this up, former Southern Mississippi running back will be in the league for a long time.