In the third quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs, the Raiders got a scare.
Starting right tackle Trent Brown, who’s been terrific, made a tackle after quarterback Derek Carr threw an interception, and hurt his knee. He missed the rest of the game.
After the game he was limping.
Now, as the Raiders prepare to play the Vikings this Sunday in Minnesota, the team is hoping Brown’s sore knee won’t put him on the sidelines. Even the loss of Brown for a game could prove costly, as Oakland, 1-1, will try to rebound from its first loss of 2019.
Why? Because the offensive tackles this year – Kolton Miller on the left side and Brown on the right – have been doing exactly what they need to do: keep Carr safe and give him time to throw.
The Raiders invested their top pick in 2018 in Miller, then watched him struggle through injuries and inexperience. They acquired Brown from the Patriots this offseason and gave him a huge contract. Through the first seven quarters of 2019, a healthy Miller and Brown were perfect in pass protection. In a combined 131 pass-block snaps into the third quarter of the Chiefs game, Brown and Miller allowed zero sacks and zero quarterback hits.
In a Game 1 victory over Denver, Carr wasn’t sacked once. Against the Chiefs, he went down three times, none the fault of the team’s starting tackles.
Brown, who signed a free-agent deal with the Raiders worth a potential $66 million over four years, said he and Miller make a fine pair of tackles capable of giving Carr the time he needs to run the offense. Last season, Carr was sacked 52 times. Through two games, he’s on pace to be sacked 24 times – though it’s a small sample size.
"That’s the job and that’s what we hope for," Brown told Paul Gutierrez, after the season opener, when Miller and Brown kept two of the NFL’s best pass rushers, Von Miller and Bradley Chubb, away from their QB. "It doesn’t always go that way, but when it does, you definitely got to celebrate that fact. We’ve done it and we’ve shown ourselves that we can do it, especially against the pass rush, and give ourselves a pat on the back."
The Raiders, who hope Brown will be back in the lineup Sunday, are scheduled to face the Vikings at 10 a.m.