Originally posted on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 9/15/12

Despite being put in terrible circumstances Monday night against the San Diego Chargers, the Oakland Raiders defense play very well. On Sunday they will go up against the Miami Dolphins and rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Building on the momentum of slowing down a potent Chargers offense, the Raiders should be up to the task of stopping Tannehill and the Dolphins.

“The young quarterback has improved,” Raiders defensive coordinator Jason Tarver said. “They do a good job of getting the ball out of his hands fast. They’re still learning their pass game, but you can see the improvements as they’re starting to get to know each other.”

The game plan for the Raiders defense will be similar to what they did against the Chargers. Oakland was able to take away the running game by holding San Diego to 32 rushing yards and force them to become one dimensional. Against the rookie Tannehill, forcing him to win the game passing will be the key.

“Okay, what we did well is: we swarmed, we tackled, we knocked them back in the run game and forced them to have to pass,” Tarver said of the defense against San Diego. “They threw more screens than they had thrown. They did some things because of our run game and our mechanics.”

In his first career start against the Houston Texans, Tannehill finished 20-36 for 219 yards and three interceptions. He was also sacked three times. With the Texans providing the blueprint to affect Tannehill, the Raiders will follow suit. First, they will want to pressure the rookie and make him uncomfortable. It they can get him out of the game plan early, Tannehill, like most rookie quarterbacks will make mistakes.

“We’re a multiple pressure defense so that’s what we do,” Tarver said.

One of the key things the Texans were able to do against Tannehill was deflect balls at the line of scrimmage. Two of the three interceptions came from defensive lineman and linebackers getting their hands up in the passing lanes.

“Yeah, he’s had a lot of tipped balls,” Tarver said. “That’s one thing you’ve got to emphasize, because one, it’s on film, and two, it’s obviously worked for the Texans. One of the biggest ways you get interceptions in the NFL is tipped balls and overthrows.”


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