The Duel

Raiders 2019 Success Heavily Powered by Offensive Line Leading NFL in One Surprising Area

Zach Brunner
Cincinnati Bengals v Oakland Raiders
Cincinnati Bengals v Oakland Raiders / Jason O. Watson/Getty Images
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The Oakland Raiders have been surprisingly impressive across a number of different areas this season, already outperforming many expectations set out for them after a 4-12 finish last year.

One of the most impressive areas of this 2019 Raiders' team has been its offensive line, which has allowed the fewest quarterback hits in the league this season, at just 28.

The offensive front for Oakland has been steady, allowing an average of just 2.8 hits on Derek Carr per game through 10 contest. This has lead to an average of 1.5 sacks allowed per game, which is the second-best rate in the NFL behind the Dallas Cowboys (1.2 per game).

This kind of pocket protection for Carr has allowed him to toss for 15 touchdowns with just five interceptions for a 105.2 passer rating thus far, which is the sixth-best mark in the league. This is a historic pace for Carr too, as the sixth-year veteran has yet to finish an NFL season with a passer rating above 100.0.

The offensive line has also been solid from a run-blocking standpoint, leading to a great year for rookie running back Josh Jacobs. As a whole, the Raiders have averaged 4.5 yards per rush, which is 11th-best mark in the NFL. Jacobs has averaged 4.8 yards per rush, and he is currently the league's fourth-leading rusher, with 923 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground.

With the Raiders sitting at 6-4 and just one game behind the division-leading Kansas City Chiefs, this offensive line could make the difference down the stretch, and their services will certainly be needed come Dec. 1, when they hit the road to take on the Chiefs in Kansas City.


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