Raiders

Raiders snap count: Erik Harris maximizes opportunity in Week 4 win

Raiders snap count: Erik Harris maximizes opportunity in Week 4 win

LONDON – Raiders safety Erik Harris didn’t play a single defensive snap in the season opener. Harris was buried on the depth chart, working behind Johnathan Abram and Curtis Riley.

He was thrust into a starting role Sunday in Indianapolis, with Abram on injured reserve and Riley proving to be a liability in the back.

Harris was given the start, and played 76 of 78 Raiders defensive snaps in a 31-24 victory over the Indianapolis Colts where he provided the margin for victory.

He intercepted Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett late in the fourth quarter, expertly jumping a route before taking his pick 30 yards for a touchdown.

“The whole thing was pretty surreal,” Harris said. “I read the quarterback’s eyes and made a play on the ball. I got to the end zone and thought, ‘Is this real life?’”

Yep. And it’s the latest in a long line of opportunities the veteran former CFL players has maximized. He provided stability in the back pairing with Karl Joseph, something Riley couldn’t offer in two previous weeks.

Riley did not play a single defensive snap against the Colts.

Harris earned another start next week against Chicago, and must continue solid play to stabilize a position that hasn’t offered much thus far.

“When you get the opportunity, you have to capitalize on it,” Harris said. “You stay humble and believe in the process and your faith. I knew my time would come. It’s a matter of jumping on an opportunity when you get one.”

[RELATED: Raiders prove they can take a punch in big win over Colts]

The Raiders also found ways to keep slot cornerback Lamarcus Joyner on the field. He played 97 percent of the defensive snaps after playing just 23 last week. The Raiders spent most of their day in a nickel package, which is clear from increase work for situation pass rushers.

Harris and Joyner were integral to the Raiders victory, as were several others in this all-around team win. Let’s take a look at the Raiders snap count from Sunday’s win.

Offense

Total offensive snaps: 67

Quarterback – Derek Carr 67

Running back – Josh Jacobs 36, Alec Ingold 25, Jalen Richard 19, DeAndre Washington 13

Wide receiver – Tyrell Williams 62, Trevor Davis 37, Hunter Renfrow 28, Keelan Doss 15

Tight end – Darren Waller 61, Foster Moreau 31, Derek Carrier 7

Offensive line – Richie Incognito 67, Kolton Miller 67, Rodney Hudson 67, Trent Brown 55, Jordan Devey 52, David Sharpe 13

Defense

Total defensive snaps: 78

Defensive line – Clelin Ferrell 66, Maxx Crosby 45, Arden Key 42, Johnathan Hankins 40, P.J. Hall 37, Maurice Hurst 37, Josh Mauro 24, Corey Liuget 21

Linebacker – Tahir Whitehead 71, Nicholas Morrow 62, Vontaze Burfict 17, Kyle Wilber 2

Defensive back – Erik Harris 78, Karl Joseph 78, Daryl Worley 78, Gareon Conley 78, Lamarcus Joyner 76, Trayvon Mullen 6

Special teams

Carrier 25, Wilber 23, Keisean Nixon 23, Curtis Riley 20, Harris 19, Moreau 19, Morrow 17, Dallin Leavitt 15, Ingold 15, Crosby 14, Joseph 11, Daniel Carlson 11, Trent Sieg 10, A.J. Cole 10, Justin Phillips 9, Davis 9, Conley 8, Worley 8, Washington 8, Mullen 7, Hurst 5, Hankins 5, Ferrell 5, Whitehead 5, Sharpe 5, Good 5, Incognito 5, Miller 5, Brown 4, Devey 4, Waller 2, Andre James 2, Renfrow 2, Burfict 1, Doss 1, Williams 1

Raiders-Bengals odds, predictions: Betting lines, picks for NFL Week 11 game

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Raiders-Bengals odds, predictions: Betting lines, picks for NFL Week 11 game

The Raiders head into their Week 11 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals with a leg up. The team will be going up against the worst run defense in the league.

The Bengals give up 173.0 yards per game and have yet to win a matchup this season. This win is pretty much in the cards for the Silver and Black. Plus, this is a huge opportunity for Josh Jacobs (and his fantasy owners) to capitalize on his running game. 

On the other side, Bengals RB Joe Mixon is 14th in the NFL with 131 carries this seasons.

If you're a betting person, the Raiders are favored in the upcoming matchup according to Sportsline

Line

Caesars: OAK -750
Consensus: OAK -711
Westgate: OAK -700
Wynn: OAK -700

Here are how NFL writers around the country see the Raiders-Bengals game shaking out:

Paul Gutierrez, ESPN: Raiders 31, Bengals 16
Ben Baby, ESPN: Raiders 30, Bengals 13
Michael David Smith, PFT: Raiders 21, Bengals 7
Michael Florio, PFT: Raiders 41, Bengals 20
 

Tahir Whitehead's leadership vital to keeping Raiders defense together

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Tahir Whitehead's leadership vital to keeping Raiders defense together

ALAMEDA -- The Raiders had three defensive captains to start this season. They’ll play the Cincinnati Bengals with only one.

Vontaze Burfict is suspended for the rest of the 2019 season at least, and Lamarcus Joyner’s out with a hamstring strain.

That leaves Tahir Whitehead to lead this defense into an important stretch, a patchwork unit that looks a lot different than it did a few months ago.

The Raiders have lost Johnathan Abram, Karl Joseph and Arden Key to injury. Marquel Lee’s coming back off IR but hasn’t been available since Week 3. Burfict is essentially banned and Gareon Conley was traded.

Whitehead is a constant, someone counted on as field general and stabilizing influence from the linebacker position while the defense morphs all around him.

At this point, you could argue Whitehead is the Raiders’ most indispensable defender. He calls signals. He knows the defense as well or better than anyone. He mans a razor-thin position and is a veteran they desperately need to lead this defense down the stretch.

“There’s no pressure in that because I’ve had this responsibility before,” Whitehead said Friday in an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area. “I know I can’t have any mental hiccups or brain farts on the field. I also know that so much work is done during the week getting everybody ready so that, if I do make a mistake, everyone else is there to pick me up. Everybody has to own the play, own the call and own the defense we’re in.”

He's involved in almost everything, playing 572 of the Raiders’ 613 defensive snaps this season. He can’t leave the field now, not with the state of his position group. Whitehead and Nick Morrow play virtually every snap, with newcomer Will Compton coming to help defend heavier offensive sets.

Whitehead’s leadership role is vital, but he finds it easier this year than most considering how engaged those defenders remain trying to integrate new players and adapt to so much change.

“We have a bunch of guys on this defense who are determined to get it right, get things rolling and make sure we’re ready to win a game,” Whitehead said. “We know people don’t give a damn about our circumstances. People don’t care that we’re playing with so many men down. They don’t care how many backups or young guys or new guys we have starting. They don’t give a damn. Frankly neither do we. We’re focused on communicating well, asking questions and answering them so we get everyone on the same page no matter who is in the lineup.

“We have a bunch of hungry guys who now know what it takes to show up every day and do your job. If you get 11 guys doing that, you win games.”

Whitehead isn’t a perfect player. He has some struggles in coverage but has been strong in the run game and doesn’t miss many tackles. His leadership has proven invaluable during this stretch, which happens both while the defense is on the field and on the sideline.

That’s especially true after something goes wrong.

“I go up and down the bench and look in each guy’s eyes, to see where they’re at,” Whitehead said “I try to talk to everybody and analyze demeanor to see you if a guy is still stuck in a bad play. We know each other so well that there’s no hiding it. That’s when you can pick people up and get things going right again.”

That has been this defense’s best trait. They give up 381 yards per game with the NFL’s 30th-ranked pass defense. They struggle to get off the field on third down and give up too many explosive plays. But…they have several times managed to make that plays required to win the game.

That’s why the Raiders are 4-1 in games decided by one score. That’s how the Raiders beat the Lions and Chargers in consecutive weeks heading toward Sunday.

[RELATED: Derek Carr's season resembling 2016 campaign]

That comes from a next-play mentality, an ability to flush out mistakes, refocus on the next opportunity and try to avoid doing too much.

“I’ve been in that position,” Whitehead said. “Sometimes I feel like we’re in a lull right now. I have to go make a play and I do something out of pocket and we get beat right through the spot where I was supposed to be. There’s nothing worse than that. You pick guys up by being smart and disciplined and setting a proper example and proper tone for the entire defense to thrive."