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Raiders Mailbag: Is the defense beginning to hit its stride?

Daniel Guzman III asks:

"Who is stepping up on defense along with Maxx & Denzel?"

There are several players that come to mind who have been productive alongside Maxx Crosby and Denzel Perryman.

The two team captains have held their weight for the defense this season, and so has cornerback Rock Ya-Sin. Ya-Sin leads the team in pass deflections (six) and has allowed just a 36.3 percent completion rating in man coverage. The Raiders have been getting steady production from nickel cornerback Amik Robertson as well. No. 21 stepped up in a big way after Nate Hobbs was placed on injured reserve, and has had a ballhawk mentality. Robertson has an interception, forced fumble, fumble recovery for a touchdown and three pass deflections.

With the way the two have played in the secondary so far, great things could be on horizon for the unit with Hobbs being designated to return earlier this week.

Tiny Maquinalez asks:

"Will the solid game against the Broncos offense help boost the confidence for our defense to go put together a similar performance?"

The Raiders arguably put together their best collective performance on defense last Sunday.

It was the least amount of points allowed and the second least amount of yards allowed to an offense by the Raiders this season. Additionally, they held the Broncos to 3-of-12 on third downs. Maxx Crosby looked like a world eater with two sacks, forced fumble and a blocked field goal – along with good play from Denzel Perryman, Clelin Ferrell, Jerry Tillery and Roderic Teamer. A game like that is something great to build off for the Silver and Black defense, and the gained momentum can be felt within the locker and on the practice field heading into Seattle.

"[W]hen you get that win, it's a chance and an opportunity for the guys to see the reward for their hard work," defensive coordinator Patrick Graham said Tuesday. "Nothing solidifies that in terms of trusting the process than wins. I was just so happy for the players to get a 'W' on the road against a division opponent, against a tough team; whether it's dealing with the quarterback, dealing with their defense, dealing with the running game. I was just happy for those guys to get a win.

"I'm sure you'd have to talk to the players individually for what it means for them in terms of the process. But anytime you could get a win on the road in the division, it's a positive, and we could build off of that."

Michael Hanaway asks:

"What's the next step(s) the Raiders defense need to make to raise their game?"

One issue I see for the Raiders defense is their play in the red zone.

Opposing offenses have scored on the Raiders in the red zone with a 71 percent success rate. That is the highest percentage allowed in the red zone in the NFL. If the Silver and Black can clean things up in this category, it could be the difference between winning and losing one-possession games.

The Raiders defense is also last in the league in sacks. Maxx Crosby has nine of the team's sacks, with the rest of the team totaling four. However, the team had three sacks last Sunday against the Broncos, so hopefully they can keep the momentum on the road this week.

Head inside Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center as the Raiders prepare for their Week 12 road game against the Seattle Seahawks.

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