It’s been a disappointing season for the Raiders offensive line.
Billed as one of the team’s strongest groups before the season, the group of blockers up front has failed to consistently protect quarterback Derek Carr or open holes for the running back corps.
In the loss to Seattle in London two weeks ago, the line was ravaged by the Seahawks, who sacked Carr six times and put pressure on him all game long. But, after a bye week, the line took a big step forward Sunday. It was another loss, this time to the Indianapolis Colts, but it was a positive sign and allowed Carr and the offense to operate much more efficiently, especially against a defense that ranked No. 4 in the league in sacks.
The analytic website Pro Football Focus noted Carr wasn’t sacked even once by the Colts and the O-line “did a really nice job keeping the pressure off of their quarterback.”
Rookie left tackle Kolton Miller, who had a horrible game against Seattle, rebounded to have a strong game vs. Indianapolis, wrote PFF. Left guard Jon Feliciano – replacing All-Pro Kelechi Osemele, who is hurt – also was good.
“I think we just had a great week in practice,” Miller told the team’s website after Sunday’s loss. “I think it was one of our best weeks. I think that just prepared us well, and we just carried it over to the game.”
Fellow rookie tackle Brandon Parker, who is starting on the right side (while filling in for Donald Penn), said he and Miller were told the rookies had to step up, and they did.
“(We) just pressed into our details and really made sure we did what we had to do,” said Parker.
Added Parker: “We went out there and blocked and he (Carr) trusted us and went out and did his thing.”
Carr did not throw an interception while completing 21 of 28 passes for 244 yards and three touchdowns.
The Raiders, 1-6, will try to keep it up Thursday night when they play the 1-7 San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium. Kickoff is set for 5:20 p.m.