Raiders' Pass Defense Wounded & Bengals Smell Blood

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November 4, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) runs in the open field against the Denver Broncos at Paul Brown Stadium. Denver won the game 31-23. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-US PRESSWIRE


In his second season, AJ Green has become perhaps the best receiver in the NFL. Ask any Bengal fan, and there’s no “perhaps” involved—Green is it.

The second year wide out has caught a touchdown pass in nine straight games, one off the single season consecutive game touchdown streak shared by Hall of Famers “Crazy Legs” Hirsch and Jerry Rice. Green also ranks in the top ten in the NFL in catches and yards, and has received the most votes among AFC receivers for the Pro Bowl.

So it’s no surprise that we have come to expect Green to have big games week after week. This week against Oakland, however, may be an especially advantageous situation for Number 18 to put up some serious numbers.

Football Outsiders has a stat I’ve referenced here a few times, called Defense Value Adjusted over Average (DVOA), which evaluates every single play of the season and rates it based on how much it positively or negatively affects a team’s chances to win. See (insert link here) for a full explanation.

The Raiders defense ranks 30th in overall DVOA, which is no surprise; we don’t really need advanced stats to know that Oakland’s defense is struggling, the good ol’ eyeball test probably will suffice. Losing starting cornerbacks Shawntae Spencer and Ron Bartell for most of the season certainly hasn’t helped the secondary, as replacement Pat Lee was so bad that he was cut after starting seven games.

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