Raiders by the numbers in Week 1

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="After the first week of football, the Las Vegas Raiders are 1-0 with a 34-30 win against the Carolina Panthers. The Raiders needed this win with New Orleans coming into town with super bowl expectations, and the offense led the way to a key victory.” data-reactid=”13″>After the first week of football, the Las Vegas Raiders are 1-0 with a 34-30 win against the Carolina Panthers. The Raiders needed this win with New Orleans coming into town with super bowl expectations, and the offense led the way to a key victory.

Time to dive into critical stats that stood out during the victory and what adjustment the Raiders could make going into Week 2 of the NFL season.

Play Action Frequency

Fans have been dying for more play-action passes, especially with teams putting defenders in the box to stop the dominant Jacobs. Jon Gruden this week answered the call with a heavy play-action gameplan to start the NFL season.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="According to Pro Football Focus, the Raiders ran play-action passes on 37% of their passing plays, which is way higher than their 22.3% from 2019. Derek Carr excelled from these pass plays, highlighted by the vast gain to Henry Ruggs for 45 yards. He completed 72.7% of his passes with 8.5 YPA and a passer rating 98.3.” data-reactid=”21″>According to Pro Football Focus, the Raiders ran play-action passes on 37% of their passing plays, which is way higher than their 22.3% from 2019. Derek Carr excelled from these pass plays, highlighted by the vast gain to Henry Ruggs for 45 yards. He completed 72.7% of his passes with 8.5 YPA and a passer rating 98.3.

If this continues to be a trend of the Raiders in 2020, it could open up a lot of deep shots for Carr with his tendency to keep it short. Gruden has to keep dialing up the play-action passes and open up huge plays with added talent in the offense.

Defense Struggles with Pressure

Defensive line growth was a key emphasis going into the season. The Raiders are young in that area and brought in a new coach Rod Marinelli to help with development. Week 1 did not display this growth at all and looked like the defensive line from last year.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The Raiders only accumulated ten pressures on the day total on Teddy Bridgewater’s 39 dropbacks, according to PFF. While Bridgewater did get rid of the ball in 2.5 seconds, the Raiders did not win early, and he was able to pick his spots and make completions downfield. Maxx Crosby and Clelin Ferrell achieved one pressure combined, which can not happen this week against the Saints.” data-reactid=”25″>The Raiders only accumulated ten pressures on the day total on Teddy Bridgewater’s 39 dropbacks, according to PFF. While Bridgewater did get rid of the ball in 2.5 seconds, the Raiders did not win early, and he was able to pick his spots and make completions downfield. Maxx Crosby and Clelin Ferrell achieved one pressure combined, which can not happen this week against the Saints.

Players who played less pass rush snaps generated more pressure than the starters, with Nassib leading the way with two on 11 pass-rush snaps. The Raiders have to make serious adjustments if they want to help out a young secondary that is having issues covering in man to man.

Raiders Predictable on First Down

One of the biggest grips against Gruden last season was becoming too predictable as the year went along. The primary stat that proved that was the Raiders’ first-down run percentage of 60% according to sharp football stats. The trend of first-down runs continued on Sunday, even when it didn’t work.

The offense ran the football 64% of their first down opportunities, which was higher than their mark from last season. The main problem was the Raiders only averaging 2.6 YPC on those carries. On the flip side, the Raiders had a 70% success rate with the 9.2 YPA passing on first down.

If the Raiders continue this trend throughout the season, teams will catch up incredibly fast, just like they did in 2019. Gruden has to pass more on first down, especially with a conservative quarterback who is going to take the five yards of positive play. Running the ball every first down is not going to be beneficial in the long run.

<h3 class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Trayvon Mullen Continues His Steady Play” data-reactid=”31″>Trayvon Mullen Continues His Steady Play

The Raiders defense has its issues in the secondary, consistently letting Bridgewater players downfield to throw too. While this is true, one player continued his great coverage numbers from the year before. Trayvon Mullen had another day that displayed he is the best cover player in this secondary.

Mullen was targeted five times but only allowed two receptions for 21 yards, according to PFF. He finished with a passer rating 52.9 on those targets and was able to show off his man to man skills on a pass breakup against DJ Moore.

Mullen is the bright spot right now in the secondary in coverage with everyone else struggling to come along while being thrown in the fire. The Raiders will need the young former Clemson Tiger to continue to display growth while the rest of the young corners have their growing pains.

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