The Las Vegas Raiders pulled out a thrilling victory Monday Night, beating the Baltimore Ravens in overtime. The game exhibited the Raiders' willingness to not give up when they down with an epic comeback.
Let’s dig into the numbers that stood out from the Week 1 action.
The edge rushers dominate.
Pass Rush is an item the Raiders have been searching for since Khalil Mack left in 2018. Monday night, it finally arrived with the edge rushers putting on a dominant performance versus the Ravens.
The Raiders’ defense finished with 28 total pressures on the night with three sacks. Maxx Crosby led the way with the best performance of his career, destroying the Ravens' right tackle play after play. His 13 pressures were a career-high, according to PFF.
Yannick Ngagouke proved he was worth every penny with his added weight, not holding back his explosiveness. He finished 8th in pass rush win rate, according to ESPN. According to PFF, Carl Nassib provided four pressures himself on just 15 pass-rush snaps.
Highest-graded players on MNF:— PFF (@PFF) September 14, 2021
☠️ Maxx Crosby - 93.0
☠️ Yannick Ngakoue - 90.6 pic.twitter.com/8Ti5bN6VZ5
It wasn’t just the passing game, either. Nassib finished first in run block win rate for the week, and Crosby finished third. Just an overall dominant performance by the edge rushers.
Are the Raiders a top ten defense?
The Raiders gave up a good chunk of yards facing the Ravens. The defense allowed 6.05 yards per play and 189 yards on the ground. However, the silver and black made the opposing offense inefficient overall, which led to them having a top ten DVOA on Football Outsiders.
How does this happen with that many yards allowed? The Ravens were three for 12 on third down, which is the money down when it comes to efficiency metrics. Check out where the defense ranks with advanced stats after Week 1.
- Success Rate-8th
- Rushing EPA-10th
- Rush success rate-5th
- Run stop win rate-1st
As you can see, it is different than the overall numbers suggest, especially in the run game. Most of it came based on scrambles from Lamar Jackson. The defensive line penetrated the backfield and made plays versus the run. If the Raiders can keep these numbers up, the Playoffs will be in reach by the end of the year.
Carr has an inefficient day.
Derek Carr finished the game leading the league in passing yards with 435 on the day. He led the Raiders to an epic comeback win, but he did occur struggles throughout the game.
The former Fresno State quarterback has consistently ranked high in efficiency metrics the past two seasons. He’s off to a slow start this season, putting up the numbers below with his first action.
Derek Carr advanced stats— Marcus Johnson (@TheMarcJohnNFL) September 14, 2021
PFF-74.9ovr(14th) 76.9 pass(12th)
Raiders weren't very efficient yesterday but got better in the 2nd. I would expect that going forward.
The Raiders struggled to move the football early, and it wasn’t until the second drive of the second quarter did the offense wake up. If that didn’t happen, these numbers could have been horrendous. This week, the offense faces another tough matchup versus the Pittsburgh Steelers and will have to be ready for the challenge.
Carr avoids pressure.
Everyone says that sacks are a quarterback stat, and Monday night might have proved it once again. They were entering the matchup with a young offensive line versus a potent blitz attack. Carr was able to get rid of the ball quickly and avoid pressure.
The Raiders offensive line had flashes of what it could grow into but struggled overall. Even with those struggles, PFF has Carr’s pressure rate at 31%, ranking 19th for the week. Next-Gen stats has Carr at a 20% pressure rate which is remarkable with how much the Raiders offensive line lost blocks.
Derek Carr struggled early against the blitz, completing just 2 of his 9 passes over the first three quarters of the game. In the 4th quarter & OT, Carr was a different QB...— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) September 14, 2021
Q1-Q3: 2/9, 31 yards (-5.2 EPA)
Q4/OT: 7/11, 156 yards, TD (+12.7 EPA)#BALvsLV | #RaiderNation pic.twitter.com/wsqlf1Zj7Q
With the injury to Denzel Good, the offensive line will continue to have its growing pains while they find a way to gel. If Carr can continue to find ways to help them and avoid pressure, it can be paramount to the team's success.