For the second week in a row, the Oakland Raiders struggled to score and lost to the Denver Broncos, 16-10. Denver’s defense was as impressive as ever, swarming the Raiders’ receivers as well as halting Marshawn Lynch and the run game.
The Broncos offense is much improved from the 2016 NFL season as they have a competent offensive line to go with a more experienced Trevor Siemian under center. The Raiders defense was able to limit Siemian and Denver’s running backs to modest yardage totals, but will need to step up especially in the wake of Derek Carr’s back injury that will keep him out for an extended period of time.
According to Paul Gutierrez of ESPN, Khalil Mack says the defense needs to get in the mindset of completely shutting down opposing offenses:
The thing about football, man, it’s a team game,” said Mack after losing to the Denver Broncos. “And we’ve got to execute better defensively, especially starting early. Can’t give up touchdowns — we held them to field goals, that’s cool — but we’ve got to get to the point where we can shut teams out. That’s got to be the attitude coming into the game.”
With the offense likely to suffer with Carr’s absence, Jack Del Rio will need to lean on Mack and the rest of his defense to gut out wins for the foreseeable future. However, this will be a tall task as Oakland’s defense has been questionable at best during the 2017 NFL season.
The Raiders will get a chance to end their rut against a hapless Baltimore Ravens offense that is also struggling to move the ball in Week 5. With their starting quarterback gone, it will be interesting to see how the silver and black respond.