The Raiders defensive line ready to show up and show out
The Raiders defensive line began to show what they are truly capable of last Sunday in New England.
They caused a lot of pressure against former NFL MVP Cam Newton, sacking him twice in the game. The pressure on him also caused him to go 17 for 28 passing and throw an interception to Johnathan Abram.
Regardless of the loss to the Patriots, the Raiders defensive line played with a level of urgency we've been expecting to see since the offseason. Johnathan Hankins, Maurice Hurst, Maxx Crosby and Clelin Ferrell were heavily responsible for that.
Clelin Ferrell was very pleased with the line's overall performance against Cam Newton and is very aware the same energy needs to be brought against Josh Allen.
"Obviously at the end of the day in this league it's about getting to the quarterback," said Clelin Ferrell. "As a D-line we're a really young group and at the end of the day it's about getting to (the quarterback) so when you have the opportunity to go up against a guy like this, you know it's going to be dire to get to a quarterback like Josh Allen, who loves to extend plays."
"We had a great week of practice, and we're a young and hungry group and ... we don't let a lot of things get to us."
Don't you dare sleep on Devin Singletary
Most people have been tuned in to the passing attack of the Buffalo Bills with Josh Allen and his talented receiving corps. However, let's not forget the Raiders gave up 250 rushing yards last week.
The Bills' run attack will be something to be concerned about just as much as their passing game. The Bills' lead running back Devin Singletary can do damage to the Silver and Black's defense if they aren't ready for him.
The Bills' 2019 third round pick out of FAU has proven he is a solid workhorse back in their scheme and cause havoc for defenses out of the backfield. Singletary, like McCaffrey and Kamara, brings a versatile skillset against the Raiders defense with his pass-catching abilities.
The Silver and Black defense will definitely need to be as ready for Singletary as they are Allen or Diggs. If they continue to miss gaps and tackles as they did last week, Singletary could really be a game changer.
Next Man Up
It's no secret that the Raiders are becoming plagued by the injury bug.
Gruden announced Friday that rookies Damon Arnette (thumb) will be added to IR and Bryan Edwards (knee) has been ruled out against the Bills for Sunday. Gruden also said that Henry Ruggs III (hamstring) Trent Brown (calf) are doubtful against the Bills. The receiving corps might be even thinner with Rico Gafford (hamstring) not practicing this week as he is also listed as doubtful.
The Raiders have had to adapt the "next man up" mantra due to injuries and seen guys step up on the offensive line such as Denzelle Good and rookie John Simpson. The offensive line may also be getting a little more assistance as right tackle Sam Young (groin) fully participated in Friday's practice after getting injured Week One against the Panthers.
Derek Carr will also be counting on the rest of healthy receivers in slot machine Hunter Renfrow, veteran wideout Nelson Agholor and former Bills receiver Zay Jones. Carr knows that nobody will have sympathy for the Raiders injury issues and has to execute plays with what they have.
"Who cares? We just got to play," says Derek Carr. "Nobody cares about the injuries. Nobody. They just see the loss; At the end of the day, who cares, we can't worry about if we're on our third right tackle [or] all of our receivers go down."
"And really, when it happens obviously you're sad, you're down for your teammates and things like that, but it's next man up. We always have a plan going forward no matter what."
Nick Kwiatkoski is on the mend
The Raiders could definitely be getting a huge lift at the linebacker position with Nick Kwiatkoski.
The defensive team captain has been sidelined since suffering a pectoral muscle injury in Charlotte Week One. Kwiatkoski has practiced this whole week and Gruden said that he could be ready this week against the Bills "barring any setbacks."
Getting back a veteran playmaker will be a big bonus to the Raiders defense, aiding a linebacker group which has been led by Nicholas Morrow and Cory Littleton in his absence.
"My guy got some fresh legs, he ain't done nothing in awhile so that's always a positive," Littleton said. "Nick is a hard, tough dude that loves ball. I'm happy that he's back out there, and he's going to be a great contributor to this defense."
The bright lights are back on Trayvon Mullen
A lot of eyes will be on the young shutdown corner this Sunday.
Mullen will be asked to step up even more for the young secondary unit with the scrappy rookie out of Ohio State Damon Arnette (thumb) being placed on IR. Mullen will also have the task of going up against Bills star receiver Stefon Diggs who is currently leading the AFC in receiving yards.
Mullen stated early this week that he's 'very excited' for the challenge going up against Diggs. His head coach is excited to see how Mullen will perform as well.
"Well, that's a big matchup," said Coach Jon Gruden. "Obviously, Diggs is a great receiver, and they do a great job moving him around, so everybody is going to have a hand dealing with Diggs. Trayvon is getting better. He's still a young player. I thought he played very well last week in New England and he's definitely on his way up as a very good corner in this league."
Mr. September: Josh Allen
Not much more needs to be said about Josh Allen.
Allen was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Month for September after leading the Bills to an undefeated season to this point. He has been extremely accurate throwing the football with a 10:1 touchdown interception ratio.
With the chemistry he's been able to develop with his receivers, he's been looking like an early season MVP candidate.
The Raiders defense will definitely have their hands full with Allen, as he's a big-body, dual-threat quarterback. The defense as a whole from the front seven to the secondary must bring a sense of urgency and aggression against Allen if they plan on coming out of Allegiant Stadium with a 3-1 record Sunday.
The Raiders get in one last practice at Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center before their matchup against the Buffalo Bills at Allegiant Stadium on Sunday.