Chargers vs. Raiders - Defense

The Oakland Raiders defense is a bit hard to get a bead on.  They were absolutely throttled by Denver's offense.  They came back strong against Kansas City, admittedly a lessor offense; then they played well through three quarters in Buffalo before folding late.  The Raiders Gerard Warren with 2 sacks is likely going to be limited or not play with partially torn pectorals.  Derrick Burgess with 1.5 sacks has a triceps injury and likewise may be out or limited for the game; you have to wonder if Oakland is going to be able to get sufficient pressure on Rivers, the other side of the defensive line has no sacks.  

Oakland has a great cornerback in N. Asomugha.  He is extremely hard to throw against and therefor isn't targeted very often.  DeAngelo Hall on the other side has a great reputation, but he got fairly well clocked in their first game against Oakland.  Now Cromartie did too, over at Silver and Black Pride there was the sense that he is neither as good as his reputation, nor as bad as the first game at Denver would have you believe.  Oakland shelled out big money to bring in Safety Gabril Wilson.  Many have questioned the move, but he does have a lot of tackles and is solid in pass coverage.  Michael Huff the other safety looks capable if unspectacular.

At middle linebacker the Raiders have one of our own, Kirk Morrison out of SDSU.  He has picked up 17 tackles, one interception and one sack in the first three games.  Thomas Howard on the right side had six picks last year to go with 96 tackles.  Michael Huff on the other side seems adequate; you might expect more from the seventh pick in the draft, but this is only his third season.

The folks at Football Outsiders place the Oakland defense as weaker against the rush than the pass and 19th overall.  Another interesting stat over there is that the number two WR has run wild against Oakland (that's probably poor coverage by D. Hall), how much of that is from the first game against Denver is hard for me to know.  Given that the Raiders two most effective pass rushers may be out or at least hampered, it looks to me like Rivers could have another big day.

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