Advertisement
  1. Archive

Sack-happy Raiders defense has improved

After one win, defensive end Bobby Hamilton predicted that Oakland's new defense is good enough to get 12 sacks in a game.

Perhaps it could happen, on a really good day.

After recording only 26 sacks in last year's 4-12 season, the Raiders sacked Buffalo quarterback Drew Bledsoe seven times during Sunday's 13-10 win, four more than they had in any single game last season.

The team record is 11, set in 1967, and the Raiders did it twice that season.

The performance Sunday, based on a philosophy to pressure Bledsoe any way possible, is how the Raiders want to play every game. They have nine sacks in two games _ a pace that would tie the NFL single-season mark of 72 set by the Chicago Bears in 1984, although it's a little too early to predict anything like that.

Those Bears were coached on defense by Buddy Ryan, the father of new Oakland coordinator Rob Ryan.

Second-year player Tyler Brayton, who has been playing both defensive end and outside linebacker, recorded seven tackles and 1{ sacks.

"I think we played pretty well. I think we played a lot better than last week," Brayton said. "We had a more physical attitude than we did last week for whatever reason. I think we're still learning to trust the defense, and I think that's just a key to a good defense. They believe in the system."

Buffalo managed only 243 yards of offense against a defense that was worst in the league last season at stopping the run, allowing 156.9 yards per game on the ground. The Bills didn't get in the end zone until 1:20 left when Bledsoe hit Eric Moulds for a 5-yard TD after the ball was deflected by Ray Buchanan.

"We always want to rush well," defensive lineman Warren Sapp said. "We felt that it was a mismatch for them. We felt that we were a little bit better than they were up front. That is normally where the game is won."

BRONCOS: Defensive end Trevor Pryce will have surgery today to remove a disc fragment from his lower back and is expected to miss four to six weeks. Pryce hurt his back last month.

BROWNS: Rookie tight end Kellen Winslow had surgery and could miss out on a $5.3-million roster bonus, ESPN.com reported. Under terms of the six-year, $40-million performance-laden contract he signed in August, Winslow must participate in 35 percent of Cleveland's offensive plays to receive the one-time bonus, paid in 2005. It's unclear whether there is a medical provision to protect Winslow in case of injury.

CHARGERS: Special teams standout Carlos Polk will miss the rest of the season after aggravating a shoulder injury in Sunday's loss to the Jets.

DOLPHINS: Miami waived punt returner Lamont Brightful, who fumbled three kicks in their latest loss, and signed rookie returner Wes Welker.

49ERS: Two-time Pro Bowl center Jeremy Newberry had surgery on his injured right knee. Newberry, a seven-year veteran, developed the cartilage problem in his knee a few days after camp began. He returned from his August surgery to start the season opener against Atlanta, but missed last Sunday's game against New Orleans. The team does not know when he will return. The 49ers signed offensive lineman Dwayne Ledford to help make up for the injuries to Newberry and Kwame Harris, who is doubtful with a sprained left ankle.

JETS: An MRI exam revealed linebacker Sam Cowart sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee, and coach Herman Edwards said the veteran could miss four to six weeks. Rookie Jonathan Vilma will start in his place.

VIKINGS: Coach Mike Tice said he wishes he would have challenged Terrell Owens' touchdown catch during Monday night's 27-16 loss to the Eagles. Owens hauled in a 45-yard pass from Donovan McNabb to put the Eagles ahead 24-9 with 7:48 left in the fourth, but replays showed Owens might not have had full possession of the ball as he landed in the end zone and rolled out of bounds. Right tackle Mike Rosenthal is likely out for the season with an injury to his right foot, and tight end Jermaine Wiggins will miss two to three weeks with a broken left hand. Also, tight end Jim Kleinsasser was seeking a second opinion on his sprained right knee, with season-ending surgery a possibility.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Advertisement
Advertisement