September 11, 2016: Oakland Raiders center Rodney Hudson (61) lines the ball up to hike during the NFL game between the New Orleans Saints and the Oakland Raiders at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA. Oakland Raiders defeat the New Orleans Saints 35-34. (Photo by Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire)
Oakland Raiders

The Raiders have the best offensive line in the NFL

(Photo by Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire)

The Raiders offensive line continued it’s stellar play against the Tennessee Titans and with the injuries mounting on the Dallas Cowboys line, it’s not hyperbole to say that the Raiders might have the best line in the league.

Titans defensive coordinator, Dick Lebeau, is known for his innovative, aggressive blitzes and he blitzed the Raiders 17 times on 34 pass plays — only managing to get 11 pressures and one sack. This means that although Lebeau blitzed on half of all pass plays, the defense only managed to pressure Carr one third of the time and sack him once.

The above play is a great example of how well the Raiders pick up blitzes. The Titans brought five and attempted to cause confusion by looping a defensive tackle from the backside A to the frontside A, while slanting the end into B gap, and blitzing the nickel on the edge. The Raiders easily matched the Titians five rushers and gave Carr a nice pocket to throw the ball to — Richard ra a speed-out to where the rush came from. This shows that Coach Mike Tice and Bill Musgraves are doing a good job of preparing their players for opposing blitzes and giving them a good plan of action for how to deal with them. Carr’s recognition of where the blitz came from and throwing “hot” show his grasp of the game.

In addition to doing a great job of protecting Carr, the offensive line has bullied opponents on the ground. The Raiders currently are ranked number two in rushing.

It’s pretty amazing to think about considering how bad the Raiders were at running the ball last year. A big reason for the improvement of the running game is the addition of mauler, Kelechi Osemele. He recorded a whopping 14 pancakes in week one and really adds an edge that this line desperately needed.

Above, the Raiders are running an inside zone play. The key block was by guard (#76) Jon Feliciano on the defensive tackle. He didn’t get much movement but was aided by the running back faking one way and going the other. The back decided to run towards Osemele and that proved to be a smart decision as Osemele pancaked a defender, which opened up a huge running lane. Richard was able to burst into the secondary with some steam and take it to the house.

If it’s one thing that they have to cut down on, it’s the penalties. In week three, the line committed four crucial penalties including a hold that caused a touchdown to be called back.

The offensive line’s dominance is more impressive when you consider how many injuries is has had to deal with.

In week 1, the Raiders were down to their last offensive lineman and in week 3, they had a guard play right tackle for most of the game. The unit is playing well and a lot of the credit has to go to Reggie Mckenzie for making the line a priority in the last few seasons and Mike Tice for preparing the line every week.

When you consider how well the Raiders line protects, run blocks, and the depth, it’s not farfetched to think that they are best line in the league.

The Raiders have the best offensive line in the NFL

More of Your Raiders with Locked on Raiders Podcast



  1. EseRaw777

    October 2, 2016 at 7:00 am

    There legit but even w/ all the injuries the cowboys still have , center Travis Frederick, guards Zack Martin n Ronald Leary . While the raiders right tackle has the edge on the boys Doug free , I’d say this reporter is just a homer who’s finally seeing something out of the raiders since Jon gruden was the head coach . Props tho there turning it around .

    • simonpeggroundhole

      October 3, 2016 at 3:59 pm

      I don’t know enough about football to claim the raiders have more talent. But the Raiders Oline is very very good. This analysis does a good job of demonstrating how well coached they are, but it doesn’t do much to demonstrate their talent.

      Penn has played like a top 5 LT for the last two years. Gabe Jackson is an up and comer that most predict will be a top 5 guard for his career. He was routinely given top grades by PFF last year and ended the season in the top 10. Rodney Hudson is a stud center. He’s not quite Frederick in pass blocking but he’s a better run blocker. And Osemele speaks for himself. One of the best guards in football, right there with Free and Incognito and whoever else. Only at RT are they a little weak, and its mostly because of injuries. Watson and Howard are constantly hurt, but Alexander and Feliciano have stepped up in their absence. PFF called it the 2nd best line before the season started (only after the cowboys), and they have frankly played above expectation. Its not outlandish to call them the best in the game.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top