The Oakland Raiders defense ranked in the bottom third of the league last season, and the loss of Khalil Mack, combined with a new system being in place, certainly won’t make things easy on the unit.
Even with Mack on the field, the Raiders ranked 24th in yards given up per game (350.1) last year, even playing in a division not known for high-scoring affairs.
Raiders receiver Amari Cooper seems to be aware of the fact that the team will have an uphill battle this season, judging by a recent comment he made heading into the team’s Week 1 showdown with the Rams on Monday night.
“We might have to go out there and score every possession,” Cooper said, via Matt Schneidman of the San Jose Mercury News. “You never know.”
Given how loaded the Rams are on both sides of the ball, Cooper might be right. As for the Raiders, it figures that it’ll take time for both players and coaches to get on the same page with the new system the team is running, and miscommunications on defense will certainly happen. They’ll need to try to establish the run, in an attempt to control the tempo of games, to give their defense a break whenever possible.