The Las Vegas Raiders are moving onto the Arizona Cardinals, but we are still reviewing the previous week. The Silver and Black were inconsistent on offense and didn't put up the numbers they were hoping for on Sunday. It ended with a 24-19 loss vs. the Los Angeles Chargers.
It's our first ‘Just Stats Baby’ of the year. It is time to dive deep into the analytics of the week:
The Raiders' defense dominates vs. the run.
The defensive tackle position was one of the year's most significant question marks. The concerns heightened during the preseason seeing gashes. It didn't transfer to Week 1, where the Raiders could stall the Chargers in the run game.
According to RBSDM.com, The defense finished second in EPA vs. the run after the first week of action. They controlled Austin Ekeler and the running backs the Chargers threw at them, which helped maintain the game in the second half. Maxx Crosby was the leader of the pack with a dominant performance. He finished with eight defensive stops, according to PFF, with an average depth of tackle of 1.4 yards.
Andrew Billings was back to 2019 form, and Divine Deablo was stout at the linebacker position. Nate Hobbs finished with three defensive stops himself on his big opening day. If the Raiders can stop the run like this all year, it will force teams to be one-dimensional, making the pass rush even more effective.
Derek Carr struggles vs. the blitz
Derek Carr threw three interceptions last Sunday, which has only happened twice in his career. It was a weird day for the Raiders quarterback because he is usually strong vs. the blitz. Sunday was different as he did not put the same numbers against extra rushers.
According to PFF, Carr was 4 for 8 for 28 yards vs. the blitz. While he did throw a touchdown, his YPA was 3.5 with two sacks and a throwaway. The offensive line rotations influence how they handle blitz situations. Therefore, Josh McDaniels must quickly figure out the starting lineup for continuity.
Teams will continue to blitz the Raiders until they prove they can handle the pressure. The Cardinals sent five or more rushers 54% of the time vs. the Kansas City Chiefs. Expect more of the same this next Sunday in Las Vegas.
Clelin Ferrell is finding his groove
Clelin Ferrell will always be a reach at the fourth pick of the 2019 draft. His production has not matched the draft position during his first three seasons in the NFL. This offseason, heading into his fourth year, there was speculation he wouldn't make the football team. Instead, he put together a strong performance vs. the Chargers in Week 1.
According to PFF, Ferrell finished with three pressures on eight pass rush snaps. He was impressive at the point of attack with a win rate of 28% when rushing the passer. The surprise was Ferrell playing outside linebacker on the majority of his snaps. The former first-round pick fell into coverage 42% of the time. That is a new development for Ferrell, especially with that frequency of reps going backward.
Of course, he is still a role player for this defense, but making an impact during those snaps is encouraging. The former Clemson Tiger has had a rough start to his career so far. Let us see if he continues this type of production throughout the whole season.