The Raiders had one of the worst defenses in the league in 2020 and that led them to hire Gus Bradley as their new defensive coordinator.
Bradley’s first outing in his new job was a topsy turvy affair that saw the Ravens jump out to a 14-point lead before the Raiders came back to tie the game at three different points in the fourth quarter. One of those scores came after defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson forced a Lamar Jackson fumble and defensive end Carl Nassib forced another one in overtime after a Derek Carr interception to set up the game-winning touchdown.
The defense also got two sacks and five quarterback hits from Maxx Crosby and compliments from Carr about how they were able to keep the Raiders in the game long enough to hear it.
“We harp on the defense so much,” Carr said, via Ed Graney of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “You hear this. You hear that. You see a lot of coordinators come in and go. For them to make the play at the end and give us chance after chance after chance with all their stops — I hope someone praises the defense. They deserve it. Were they perfect? No. Were we as an offense? No. But we won as a team.”
You don’t always need to be perfect to win in the NFL. The Raiders showed that in Monday night and they also showed that this year’s defense may not be the object of scorn that it has been in the past.