There’s a statistic for everything, apparently. And often, those statistics aren’t kind to the Raiders of 2018.
That team, which has worked hard this offseason to strengthen its roster, had a league-low 13 sacks on defense, allowed quarterback Derek Carr to be sacked 51 times and was near the bottom of the league in turnover margin (at minus-7).
Now, the analytic website Pro Football Focus has ranked the Raiders offensive line 30th in pass-blocking efficiency "on long-developing plays."
The group of blockers up front was particularly vulnerable when Carr faced initial pressure, was flushed from the pocket or needed an extra second or two when trying to connect on deep routes.
Mark Chichester of Pro Football Focus wrote that the Raiders’ pass-blocking efficiency on those longer plays was just 64.4 percent, better only than the Dolphins (54.0) and Cardinals (60.7).
Wrote Chichester: "All in all, things along Oakland’s offensive line weren’t great last year. The team logged 59 long-developing passing plays in 2018, and their line allowed seven sacks, three hits and 25 hurries. Only the Miami Dolphins (18.0 percent) allowed sacks at a higher rate on such plays than the Raiders (11.9)."
The Raiders hope that will change in 2019. They’ve added ex-Patriots standout Trent Brown at right tackle and veteran Richie Incognito at left guard. And, left tackle Kolton Miller is healthy again, which should improve his play from an inconsistent rookie season.
The Raiders are scheduled to open training camp in Napa on July 23, with rookies and quarterbacks. The full squad is set to report July 26.