Raiders’ defense bracing for Justin Herbert

Raiders’ defense bracing for Justin Herbert

Justin Herbert has been one of the NFL’s most productive quarterbacks through the first three weeks of the season as he he compiled stellar statistics.

Next for Herbert is a home game against the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday (kickoff is is set for 1:05 p.m. PT). The Raiders, whose defense has been struggling this season, have had trouble defending against Herbert since he entered the NFL in 2020.

So, with Herbert rolling, it is a scary thought for the Raiders. He has completed 74.4 percent of his passes, he has thrown for 939 yards, six touchdown passes and he has not been intercepted. The Raiders don’t have any interceptions this season.

Las Vegas defensive coordinator Patrick Graham knows the challenges facing Herbert brings this week.

“He has access to the entire field, true access to entire field. Big arm and can throw it anywhere on the field,” Graham said this week. “I’m not a quarterbacks coach, I don’t know how they describe the different ways. He just gets the ball anywhere on the field. I think you’re seeing his intelligence in terms of at the line of scrimmage, they’re going more with the tempo and different things they’re doing there. He’s getting more and more comfortable and that comes with experience. So, you’re seeing a quarterback out there who’s comfortable making decisions. They are giving him more responsibility. He can make all the throws; he can hurt you with his legs. He’s a really dynamic player and it’s going to be fun to go against him.”

Another Herbert-related challenge this week, is this will be Graham’s first game facing Herbert with Kellan Moore as his offensive coordinator. Clearly, that pairing is working.

“They’re getting the ball to their go-to guys and the quarterback is making the right decisions,” Graham said. Specifically with the scheme, I mean we’re still in the beginning process of watching the tape and stuff. But from what I’ve seen, Kellen Allen is going to catch the ball, they’re going to get the ball to tight ends, they’re going to hand the ball to [Austin] Ekeler if he’s playing. So, I mean, that’s been a pretty good formula for them.”

And a huge challenge for Las Vegas in Week 4.

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