The Raiders won their season opener on Sunday, and in the NFL, every victory is earned. But it won’t be a celebratory week of practice ahead for Las Vegas — not after the defense allowed 30 points to a Carolina attack that is projected to be pretty pedestrian this season.
The Las Vegas pass rush was a big question coming into the year, and in Week 1 those concerns proved to be well-founded. Carolina ran 67 plays overall, and 40 of those were called pass plays (including their successful 2-point conversion), and to put it bluntly, the Raiders barely bothered quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther mostly left it up to the front four to create pressure on the quarterback and they were simply unable to do it. Of the 40 times Bridgewater dropped back to throw, the Raiders generated pressure on him just six times. And that’s with a generous standard of “pressure” (which we’ll define as altering the quarterback’s drop-back, throwing motion or follow-through in any way).
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