Raiders shine in the analytical department Week 7
The Las Vegas Raiders beat down the Philadelphia Eagles 33-22, with the score making it closer than it appears. The Raiders are riding high into their bye week with a chance to be contenders in the AFC.
Let’s check out the stats that stood out from the massive win last Sunday.
Raiders dominate on second down.
The Raiders offense under Jon Gruden was dependent on third down. They were one of the best third-down offenses in the NFL but could not sustain it throughout an entire season. With Greg Olson now the play-caller, the Raiders have decided to skip third down and score.
On second down, the offense finished with a 78 percent success rate on the day. Through the air, 69 percent of their passes went for first downs, and 30 percent were explosive plays over 15 yards. Derek Carr did not throw an incompletion on second down the whole game. His only play that didn’t have a successful outcome was a tight end Screen. The passing game finished with a 92 percent success rate on second down.
It wasn’t just the passing game, either. Kenyan Drake saw 67 percent of his rushing attempts achieve first downs and averaged 5.3 yards per carry when he handled the rock. If the silver and black offense can avoid third downs in the future, it could solidify itself as a top-five unit.
Brandon Facyson sticky in coverage
Brandon Facyson was an unknown to the Raider Nation when The Raiders added him to the practice squad. After two games, he creates plays with the ball in the air with his knowledge of Gus Bradley’s system.
With Casey Heyward locking down one side of the field, the former Los Angeles Charger received nine targets on Sunday. According to PFF, Facyson accumulated three pass breakups on those targets allowing five receptions but only 49 yards. He is allowing a passer rating of 71.9 and already has an interception on the season.
If Facyson can hold down the fort until Trayvon Mullen returns, it will be vital to their overall success. With the Raiders’ pass defense playing at a high level, they are ready to compete with the best teams in the league.
You can’t tackle Renfrow.
Hunter Renfrow has made a name for himself this season as one of the premier slot receivers in the NFL. One area that Renfrow is displaying elite skill is creating after the catch. He has become a weapon who can take any five-yard pass into 16.
Hunter Renfrow forced 5 missed tackles against the Bears, which was tied for most among WRs in week 5.
He has forced 9 missed tackles for the season, which is tied for second among WRs. pic.twitter.com/Bbfo4jd8TF
— Travis Gilkeson (@TravisGilkeson) October 14, 2021
The former Clemson Tiger forced two missed tackles vs. the Eagles. That brings his total to 11 missed tackles forced on the season, which leads all NFL receivers using PFF metrics. It makes him deadly in the open field and a dependable underneath target for Derek Carr.
Renfrow usage has also changed with him playing out wide over 50 percent of the time in the last two matchups. It makes sense with his emergence as a playmaker in this offense.
Tackling is back in Las Vegas.
The Raiders defense under Paul Guenther was one the worst tackling teams in football. Under Gus Bradley, the emphasis on tackling and fundamentals are clear, and the difference appears in the overall numbers.
Versus the Eagles, the Raiders missed three tackles, by far their lowest on Sunday. They rank 15th in missed tackles in 2021 with 43 total compared to the previous season, ranking first with 143. The significant improvement in tackling has helped the Defense become fringe top ten analytically, ranking 11th in EPA allowed according to RBSDM.com
With the bye week now upon us, everything about this team is an improvement over the previous season as the Raiders hit the second half of their schedule. Hopefully, the trend continues, and they can go on a playoff run.