SARASOTA, Fla. – The Raiders have a new field general running their defense. NaVorro Bowman played all 69 defensive snaps in a 34-14 loss to the Buffalo Bills, acting as the three-down linebacker his former team didn’t prefer.
Bowman’s snaps were expected to decrease with the 49ers, a major reason why they released him roughly two weeks ago. The Raiders had a glaring need on the inside, especially for someone with Bowman’s experience, on-field leadership and tackling ability.
He won’t be a part-time player here. The Raiders are banged up at linebacker, Bowman’s the position group’s permanent fixture.
Weakside linebacker Cory James was a three-down player – he missed most of the last two games with a knee injury – but left in certain packages.
Nicholas Morrow, previously involved in sub packages, only played special teams on Sunday.
Time will tell if this change is permanent or injury related, but Bowman has quickly taken command of this defense. He led the team with 11 tackles, including one for a loss. He allowed three receptions for 19 yards – just two after the catch – on as many targets. Pass coverage was a perceived weakness in Bowman's game, but the Raiders aren't putting him in bad spots. They're playing to strengths whenever possible while keeping him on the field.
“We haven’t really asked him to go eliminate people in terms of if they’re trying to play a lot of man and isolate him on backs or things like that or tight ends," Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. "We’re not asking him to do a lot of that. From what I’ve seen, he’s a good football player. He’s come in, two weeks in a row he’s led our team in tackles. He’s taking charge. He’s been a very positive addition to our football team. His experience, his toughness, his love for the game; it’s a positive for us.”
Quarterback – Derek Carr 65
Running back – DeAndre Washington 32, Jalen Richard 26, Jamize Olawale 5
Wide receiver – Amari Cooper 63, Cordarelle Patterson 57, Michael Crabtree 55, Johnny Holton 13
Tight end – Jared Cook 46, Lee Smith 19, Clive Walford 6
Offensive line –Kelechi Osemele 65, Rodney Hudson 65, Donald Penn 65, Marshall Newhouse 65, Gabe Jackson 65, Vadal Alexander 2, Jon Feliciano 1
Defensive line – Khalil Mack 58, Justin Ellis 47, Mario Edwards 43, Denico Autry 37, Eddie Vanderdoes 37, Treyvon Hester 30, Mario Edwards 28, James Cowser 7
Linebacker – NaVorro Bowman 69, Bruce Irvin 61, Cory James 49
Cornerback – TJ Carrie 68, Dexter McDonald 67, Sean Smith 29, Shilique Calhoun 11, Xavier Woodson-Luster 1
Safety – Reggie Nelson 69, Shalom Luani 68, Keith McGill 8
Keith McGill 25, James Cowser 25, Xavier Woodson-Luster 19, Erik Harris 19, Nicholas Morrow 15, Shalom Luani 16, Jalen Richard 12, Johnny Holton 12, Cordarrelle Patterson 11, DeAndre Washington 9, Lee Smith 9, Jon Feliciano 9, Elijah Hood 8, Demetrius McCray 8 Clive Walford 7, Jamize Olawale 7, TJ Carrie 6, Mario Edwards 6, Denico Autry 6, Eddie Vanderdoes 6, Treyvon Hester 6, Jon Condo 6, Marquette King 6, Giorgio Tavecchio 5, Gabe Jackson 2, Marshall Newhouse 2, Kelechi Osemele 2, Vadal Alexander 2, Justin Ellis 2
DID NOT PLAY
QB EJ Manuel, WR Seth Roberts
CB Gareon Conley, QB Connor Cook, OT Jylan Ware, LB Marquel Lee, DL Jihad Ward, CB David Amerson, OT David Sharpe