ALAMEDA – Von Miller had high praise for the Raiders offensive line. He called it the NFL’s finest front.
He stuck with it even after playing the Dallas Cowboys superb line this season, and having seen tape of the Raiders’ Sunday debacle at Washington, when the Raiders turned in their worst performance in some time.
“When we were getting ready for the Cowboys, everyone was saying that this is the best offensive line that we’re playing against,” Miller said Wednesday in a conference call. “I really felt like the Raiders, they really are put together to be the best offensive line. That’s just my opinion. Up in Dallas, they have a great, arguably the best offensive line, but my opinion, I’ve always thought that the Raiders had the best offensive line. From tackle to tackle, they’re great.”
They weren’t great, or even good, against Washington. The offensive line allowed four sacks against Washington, just the sixth time quarterback Derek Carr has been sacked at least that much. It hasn’t happened since the super line formed, one featuring Donald Penn, Kelechi Osemele, Rodney Hudson and Gabe Jackson from left tackle to right guard.
The line was rattled, along with the entire offense, against Washington.
“We did lay an egg on Sunday, and the only way to get the bad taste out of your mouth is to play somebody else,” Penn said. “It’s not like they’re going to roll over, especially in their house. I know they’re tough. I know their mentality.
“We’re ready to get to the next game, and it doesn’t matter who we play. We could be playing ‘The Replacements.’ We’re ready to get another game out there. We want to get going again, because we weren’t the Raiders on Sunday. We need to get back on point.”
Penn emphasized that the Raiders offensive line should look like it did the first two weeks, when Carr had time and running backs had space.
Their wasn’t much of either in Washington. Those things might be hard to come by in Denver, which features the NFL’s No. 4 defense and its best run D. Oh, and Von-freaking-Miller. And All-Pros in the secondary.
Miller is right. It’s the best line around, with the talent and pride required to rebound well.
“I just encourage them and tell, ‘You do what you’ve been doing,’ because I know they’re just going to work their tail off,” Carr said. “I know that they’re going to come in angry today just like they always do. They’re going to come in and fight at practice, just like they always do. If they find any little thing in their game that they didn’t like last week, they’re going to come and try to correct it this week. I don’t ever have to say anything to them. I have a really good offensive line. I don’t have to worry about them.”
The Broncos will, even with supreme talent on the defensive side. Respect has been paid, even as one team’s strength locks horns with another.
“They play with an attitude,” Broncos head coach Vance Joseph said. “They’re trying to hurt people, which you love about your offensive line. In pass protection, they’re really good at that also. They’re so long and so big. With [Donald] Penn, he’s got great feet as a left tackle. It’s a formidable group.”