Sunday, January 16, 2022

Raiders get final word on defensive lineman injury: report

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The Las Vegas Raiders have a lot to look forward to right now after taking their first playoff spot, but defeating the Los Angeles Chargers wasn’t all good news. Defensive tackle Darius Philon was one of the team’s best free agent signings this season. He made a big game in week 18 with a four-down run that gave the Raiders the ball in Chargers Territory.

Unfortunately he had to be carted off the field at the end of the fourth quarter and was quickly eliminated. It turns out that the Raiders’ worst fears have come true. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Philon is out for the season after tearing a patellar tendon.

This is brutal news for Las Vegas as it heads into the postseason. Philon was a disruptive player to the Raiders and really added to their depth in the defensive line. With the team up against the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday, they need all the defensive help they can get.

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Philon spent the first part of his career with the Chargers but missed the last two seasons. He was brought to Las Vegas that off-season, followed by Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley, who coached him in Los Angeles. The Raiders only put him on a one-year contract, but they should strongly consider bringing him back.

He missed five games of those six games that season due to injury and then ended the season with another injury. That could have something to do with the fact that he hasn’t played in the last two seasons. Regardless, he’s only 27 and could recover before the start of next season. If he’s ready to go, he’ll have earned a spot in Raiders Defense.

With the Raiders avoiding a draw and taking the win, they are fifth seeded in the AFC playoffs. That gives them a matchup against the Bengals in the first round. Cincinnati is hot right now, and Joe Burrow is playing like one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. However, the team has one weakness. They have one of the worst offensive lines for password blocking in the NFL. The Bengals dumped 55 sacks this season, making it the third highest in the league.

Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby feasted on all season. In fact, its 100 pressures this year are the third highest ever recorded by Pro Football Focus.

The Bengals will know Crosby very well ahead of their playoff match. As a rookie, he had 4.0 bags against it. When they played earlier this season, Crosby had a Pass Rush win rate of 61.5%, which was a season high.

He’s currently unblockable and has just had one of his best games of the season against the Chargers. The Bengals have a dynamic offensive but a Crosby takeover could be what the Raiders need to win.

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