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Looking at the Raiders Defense So Far

Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley has been able to engineer a significant turnaround for the Las Vegas Raiders defense

The issues with the Las Vegas Raiders defense have been well documented over the past several seasons, as it has often ranked among the worst in the league in that span.

In order to finally bring some change, the team brought in experienced defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, who had built great defenses during his stints with the Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Chargers. 

He hasn't made the Raiders defense rank quite where those units were at their best, but the work he has done has still made a big difference. 

After ranking no better than 24th in scoring defense the last three seasons, the Raiders defense is currently at 19th, while they rank 14th in total yards allowed. 

They're 11th in turnovers forced and can tout having a top-10 pass defense while having the third-best net yards per attempt allowed. 

A revitalized pass rush has been a big part of the turnaround, with defensive end Maxx Crosby enjoying a Pro Bowl level season. 

He's Pro Football Focus's top-ranked edge defender so far this year, with five sacks and 41 combined quarterback knockdowns and pressures. 

Free-agent addition Yannick Ngakoue has proven to be a potent partner, with four sacks of his own and ranking near the top-20 in PFF's pass-rush metrics. 

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Carl Nassib has been solid off the bench, and defensive tackles Solomon Thomas and Quinton Jefferson have given the team juice in their interior pass rush. 

The additions of Denzel Perryman and K.J. Wright at linebacker have proven very beneficial, with the former currently leading the league in total tackles. 

In the secondary, the Raiders coverage ability has improved greatly, with veteran Casey Hayward Jr. having the best coverage grade in the league, according to PFF. 

Trayvon Mullen was having his best campaign up until he was injured, and rookie Nate Hobbs might end up being the steal of this year's draft. 

At safety, Johnathan Abram has been able to rebound from being ranked as the worst at his position last year, and Trevon Moehrig has brought the coverage ability that had him considered as a first-round caliber talent. 

It all adds up to a defense that, while not yet among the very best, has shown the ability to stand on its own and not get in the way of the Raiders' success. 

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