While the Detroit Lions’ offense gets most of the attention, the Las Vegas Raiders’ offensive line faces an extremely tough matchup on Monday Night Football against up-and-coming pass-rusher Aidan Hutchinson.
Raiders’ edge defender Maxx Crosby might lead the league in pressures this season with 43, according to Pro Football Focus, but Hutchinson literally isn’t far behind in second place with 42. The 2022 No. 2 overall pick also ranks 11th among edges with a 19.2 percent pass-rush win rate and owns and 89.2 PFF pass-rush grade which is seventh-best.
Clearly, he’s a problem and someone the Silver and Black need to account for this week. So, let’s take a peek at one of his best performances of the year, Week 5 against the Carolina Panthers, and see what the Michigan product brings to the table.
Hutchinson is really good at turning speed to power and this is a good example of it. He times up the snap well and has a nice get-off to build some momentum before making contact with the offensive tackle. At the point of contact, he gets his inside arm/hand on the tackle’s chest and then has the strength to push the tackle into the quarterback.
That, plus the motor Hutch has to keep pressing after initial contact, never allows the blocker to set his base. Bryce Young has no choice but to leave the pocket and eventually throw the ball away.
Aidan Hutchinson puts the RT in a spin cycle pic.twitter.com/KLuJsuhybt— Matt Holder (@MHolder95) October 26, 2023
This doesn’t turn into a pressure because the ball is out too quickly, but I had to include it because the pass-rush move is so dirty.
If I had to guess, I think the right tackle is expecting Hutchinson to turn speed to power again so the tackle tries to be more aggressive and make the first significant contact. However, Hutch uses a nasty spin move and the blocker ends up having to pick turf pellets out of his teeth.
Love how Aidan Hutchinson pushes through the inside shoulder pic.twitter.com/7Yuv5TZ21e— Matt Holder (@MHolder95) October 26, 2023
Here’s a good example of how that last clip forces blockers to stay honest. The right tackle isn’t nearly as aggressive this time now that he knows he has to worry about the spin move. That allows Hutchinson to push through the inside shoulder, get a pressure, and force Young off of his spot to eventually throw it away.
Aidan Hutchinson's new nickname is officially The Laundromat pic.twitter.com/WnRihmlJz0— Matt Holder (@MHolder95) October 26, 2023
For good measure, how about another spin move?
This is where Hutchinson’s athleticism really stands out as he’s extremely quick with the spin and is able to immediately work up the field/toward the quarterback after clearing the offensive tackle. A lot of pass-rushers need a step or two to gather themselves, but he’s able to get back on his path without skipping a beat. That allows him to get to the quarterback faster and thus, force the ball out and prevent Young from stepping into the throw.
Granted, it still was a nice ball from the rookie.
Add chop-rip as another move Aidan Hutchinson can win with pic.twitter.com/1VI1MTQtiy— Matt Holder (@MHolder95) October 26, 2023
Here’s a third pass-rush move the Raiders’ offensive line will have to worry about. Hutchinson has a nice chop-rip move and that’s what allows him to win around the edge on this rep. Combining that with some good bend to turn a tight corner and he’s able to get pressure on Young.
Aidan Hutchinson has 4 picks in 1.5 seasons...he's a defensive lineman.... pic.twitter.com/gXnTQS35c6— Matt Holder (@MHolder95) October 26, 2023
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a defensive lineman be better at getting interceptions than Hutchinson is, especially since he has four in 24 career games. It’s a combination of his ability to sniff out screens/short passes and his athleticism.
Early in the game, the Panthers were chipping him with the tight end often, likely to help set up this play. The tight end initially blocks Hutchinson but then turns for the screen after contact. However, Hutch didn’t get far enough up the field for the play design to work, and he’s able to stick one hand in the passing lane and come up with the pick.
Again, I don’t think you’re going to find many defensive linemen who can do that.
I know I've found a good pass-rusher when a sack is the least impressive rep I watched pic.twitter.com/QacPdaUega— Matt Holder (@MHolder95) October 26, 2023
We’ll end with Hutchinson’s sack from this game which, honestly, is his least impressive rep of all the ones we’ve seen.
Carolina went away from chipping him around the midway point of the game and then went back to it when their right tackle couldn’t stay in front of him one-on-one. So, they use the tight end to give the tackle some help and it works as the tackle catches Hutch on the spin move this time.
However, Hutchinson sees Young step up in the pocket to scramble, and he’s able to escape the block and go get the sack. This guy is going to be a headache on Monday night.