For the past few years, the Raiders have had one of the better secondaries in the league. In 2010, the Raiders gave up the second fewest yards in the NFL through the air. While the rest of the team was mired in mediocrity, at least the Raiders had a secondary that boasted the best cornerback in the league.
With Nnamdi Asomugha departing in the offseason, the Raiders defense will have to prove that they are capable of being dominant despite losing the best player on the team. Unfortunately, the defense has not lived up to that billing through the preseason.
The Raiders are incredibly thin at cornerback which means that opposing teams will be testing starters Stanford Routt and Chris Johnson all year long, starting in Denver on Monday night.
Meanwhile, the Raiders have had issues stopping the run for a number of years. Despite upgrades along the defensive line and in the linebacking corps, the Raiders are still prone to give up the big running play. With Hue Jackson and defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan, the Raiders are going to make run stopping a priority this season, but only time will tell if that priority will be successful.
The Broncos come into Monday night’s game after a season in which almost nothing worked out well. They struggled in the run game as Knowshon Moreno has not been able to live up to the billing of a number one back and have been surrounded by controversy in the passing game as rumors swirled all summer about the potential trade of Kyle Orton and the fall from grace of wonder kid Tim Tebow.
The Broncos should give the Raiders defense a good opportunity to start off the season on the right foot. The Broncos offense is one that should not scare a lot of teams, so if the Raiders struggle on the defensive side of the ball, it could mean a long year for the unit that was once the Raiders strongest .