Raiders Mailbag: Will the defense continue to shake things up?

If we can take away anything from the Silver and Black's win Sunday, it's their toughness and will to win.

Neither rain, sleet nor snow could stop the Raiders from leaving FirstEnergy Stadium with their fourth win of the season over the Cleveland Browns. The weather was a significant factor for both teams, but the efficiency of Derek Carr and the power of Josh Jacobs run attack lead them to a huge win.

The Raiders' defense stepped up like never before this season, giving up just six points off two field goals to the Browns. It's the fewest points the Raiders have allowed in a game since 2012 — so those in the Mailbag comments calling for defensive changes will have to wait.

With the 4-3 Raiders going into SoFi Stadium to play the Los Angeles Chargers next week, many of you asked some good questions recapping the win against the Browns and how to move forward as a team.

If any of you have anymore questions or would like to keep the conversation going, you know the drill. You can find me @theleviedwards on Twitter and Instagram.

Dustin Menuey asks…

"How is Maurice Hurst?"

Maurice Hurst has been enjoying an underrated season for the Raiders that his stat line may not indicate. He's been a big contributing factor in forcing quarterback pressures and disrupting the run game.

Hurst appeared to suffer a non-contact ankle injury in Sunday's win against the Browns and was ruled out in the second half. After the game, Coach Gruden announced that he suffered an ankle sprain and remains questionable for the Chargers game. Gruden is hopeful that even if Hurst misses the game, his backups will be able to contribute in a big way.

"(Kendal) Vickers did what he did in Kansas City. He came in and played some valuable snaps and played well," said Gruden. "Johnathan Hankins had an outstanding game. Those two guys are going to have to step up for us obviously if Mo is out."

Doug Shiner asks…

"Why are we not using Renfrow and Waller as much as we did the first couple of games?"

Passing the ball at all in Cleveland was a challenge, so it's a little unfair to judge targets based on that game alone. But Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow still led the Raiders in receptions against the Browns, and it's fair to say they're big components of the Silver and Black offense, and it will remain like that.

Defenses around the league has recognized the legitimate threats that Waller and Renfrow pose and are doing a lot to take them out of their game. It's resulted in the Pro Bowl tight end and former Clemson standout getting a few less targets in the past couple of games.

Despite not seeing as many targets as they did in the beginning of the season, they have also helped open up the passing game for other receivers such as Nelson Agholor and Jason Witten.

Jim Baker Navas asks…

"Why doesn't Paul Guenther blitz more? Or at least change the looks on the defense to disguise different coverages?

Jim, bro.

Paul Guenther put together his best defensive game plan this season against the Browns. Guenther, former defensive coordinator for the Bengals, appeared very familiar with his former division rival in the AFC North.

Guenther guided the Raiders' defense in giving up their lowest point total of the season and didn't give up a touchdown, the first time a Raiders' defense has done so since 2016.

Guenther also excelled in making sure he added a blitzer off the edge with safety Johnathan Abram, who was able to get significant pressure on Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.

"Whenever PG calls my number I just try to do to the best of my ability," said Abram after the win in Cleveland. "Hitting the creases, making sure I'm low, because we have different pressures. We have run pressure and we have pass pressure, so I was just trying to do my best and do what I was coached to do."

View the best photos from the Raiders' Week 8 victory over the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium.

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