For much of the 2012 season, the Oakland Raiders defense has struggled. They did show a glimpse in several games this year, but never consistently put together good games. On Sunday, the Oakland defense had their best performance of the season shutting out the Kansas City Chiefs.
“It’s tough to shut anybody out in this league and for us to be able to go out there and do that, the first time it’s been done in this organization in 10 years, I think that was critical for our defense,” Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said. “I think our defense in that game played outstanding.”
The defense was hitting on all cylinders Sunday, allowing only 119 total yards. They were able to pressure the quarterback, getting 4 sacks from Tommy Kelly, Philip Wheeler, Andre Carter, and Desmond Bryant. They held the Chiefs to just 10 rushing yards and held running back Jamaal Charles to 10 yards. In the two games against Charles, the Raiders have held him to 14 yards on 14 carries. To put the cherry on top of a dominating defensive performance, Oakland cornerback Joselio Hanson intercepted a Brady Quinn pass.
“We fit up the run the right way and guys got off blocks and made plays,” Allen said. “At the end of the day, that’s what run defense is about, is getting off blocks and making plays and that’s what we were able to do really both times we played Kansas City.”
At one point this season, the Raiders defense gave up 169 points during a four game stretch. Now with the shutout, the team must build off the defensive momentum. It is a simple formula to win in the NFL. If you can run the football and stop the run, chances are you will be successful. That is the exact philosophy the Raiders are determined to achieve. They have struggled in both areas in 2012, but have two more opportunities to establish their identity going into next season.
“I think that’s part of the formula that we want for being able to be successful and win football games,” Allen said. “I think we all saw that when we execute that game plan the way that we feel like we’re capable of executing it, that we have the chance to win games. I thought our defense played outstanding and I thought we were able to run the ball effectively against them. That’ll be a key for us moving forward.”
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