The day after the first loss of the season can be a tough one to bear. The sky is falling and you are left wondering if what you saw in the previous weeks was just a mirage.
Despite their first loss of the season, the Raiders remain a good team. No, they probably aren’t in the Super Bowl-caliber of teams, but they are surely a contender. And that is why they are still getting a lot of praise and respect from the national media.
In a recent article by ESPN’s 32 beat writers, they ranked all the teams after the first month of the seaso
n. The Raiders, of course, dropped down from No. 5 to No. 10 after their Week 4 loss.
However, the site and the writers are still very impressed by their defensive unit after four games. Here is what they had to say about the Gus Bradley’s defense going into Week 5:
“A season ago, late collapses against the Chiefs, Chargers and Dolphins were the difference between an 11-5 playoff season and the middling 8-8 the Raiders finished with. Yeah, four weeks is a small sample size, but defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s re-imagined scheme is getting off the field and, yes, making plays. The best benefit for Las Vegas — the improved play on the defensive side of the ball is helping quarterback Derek Carr, too.”
The Raiders obviously didn’t play all that well against Justin Herbert and the Chargers, but there are some explanations for that. Trayvon Mullen, Nate Hobbs and Damon Arnette all left the game due to an injury and did not return. Even Casey Hayward Jr. was hobbled in this game.
But the point still stands. The defense is markedly improved since last season. The unit is playing much faster and with much more confidence. Despite the Week 4 loss to the Chargers, the Raiders are still a good team and their defense is a big reason for their success.