The Las Vegas Raiders defense has been a question all season long, and with the season coming to an end, many wondered how the defense was going to react in the last game of the season.
Despite giving up 446 total yards of offense to the Denver Broncos on Sunday, the Raiders' defense showed up when it mattered.
Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli has tried to turn things around in just a few weeks, but as we all know, the Raiders have had to dealt with injuries and the Ccoronavirus pandemic.
"It's a credit to our whole team though. We had some really great moments today, we had some ugly moments, but like we all seemed to do this year, we hang in there, our defense gets us a stop," Coach Jon Gruden said after the season finale.
Gruden called it ugly at times, but it seemed that the Raiders were trying to give away the game at times, from everything from turnovers, penalties, and big plays on defense.
And once again, they were put in an uncomfortable position, down to the wire and in the hands of the defense.
An area where they have struggled all year long, but no matter how many errors the defense has made, they showed up and made critical stops at the end of Sunday's game.
Their record is marked forever at 8-8, but there were three down to the wire games where they could have won if it wasn't for the defense.
They did manage to get three sacks on Drew Lock but did not record a single turnover on Sunday.
"Defensively, we have to improve in all levels. There's no question about that," Gruden added. "We need some impact plays from our defense; sacks, strips, fumbles, turnovers. We gotta do a better job on the defensive side of the ball."
Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby ended his season with his highest-graded game of the year.
A roster filled with young talent should help attract a new defensive coordinator that will help improve the defense in all three levels and in key situations of the game.
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