The Raiders went into Sunday’s game in Tennessee knowing they’d have their hands full against a Titans pass rush that is one of the league’s best.
The Titans ranked fourth in the NFL with 33 sacks, including 12 over their three previous games.
Yet on Sunday, the Raiders offensive line did a terrific job. The Titans sacked quarterback Derek Carr just once and Carr had time throughout the game to throw for 330 yards and three touchdowns in Oakland’s 24-21 victory.
More than halfway through this season, the Raiders (5-6) have shown that their offensive line – even without standout center Rodney Hudson this past weekend – can protect Carr against even the fiercest pass-rushing teams.
In 11 games, the Raiders have given up just 14 sacks, tied with the New York Jets for fewest in the league.
And, with the game on the line Sunday, Carr was able to throw the ball nine straight times on the late game-winning drive – protected by his blockers – and find his receivers, including Seth Roberts for the game-winning, 12-yard catch.
Carr was hit just four times in the game. When he’s given that much time, he’s shown he can find the gifted receivers he has this season, including wideouts Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree and Roberts.
Oakland head coach Jack Del Rio gave a nod to the offensive line after Sunday’s victory as being a key for the offensive production.
“We have people that can get down the field, (and) we have a quarterback that’s very accurate down the field,” Del Rio told the media. “We’re going to be able to run the ball well. That’s a really physical front, a physical defense that we went against, and our offense was terrific for most of the day.
“I would say that (Sunday) was a little closer to what we’re looking for with the offensive production.”
The Raiders will try to keep things rolling this coming Sunday, with a matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs (6-5) at O.co Coliseum (1:05 p.m. kickoff).