Last season, if you could say nothing else about the Oakland Raiders defense, you could at least say that it was very good at creating turnovers. So much so that the Raiders tied for first place in the NFL in giveaway takeaway ratio with a 16 more takeaways than giveaways and were second in total takeaways.
Through five games this season, the Raiders are tied for 15th in the league in giveaway takeaway ratio and tied for 21 in total takeaways.
Oakland currently has four turnovers. At this point last season, they had already created 10 turnovers.
A big difference this season has been the lack of interceptions. By this point in 2016, the Raiders had four interceptions while the team has yet to record a single pick through the first five games this season. They had also created more fumbles by this point last season but with four fumbles created so far this year, the Raiders are actually tied for third most fumbles recovered in the league.
The thing is, when you look deeper at the stats, you realize that two of those four fumbles came on muffed punts. That means half of the turnovers created by the Raiders this season came on special teams, not defense.
So through five games, the Oakland Raiders defense has only created two turnovers and it’s a major reason why the team is struggling to find success at the moment.
Why they have failed to create turnovers isn’t very clear. Well, in part at least. I think it’s pretty fair to say that the Raiders currently have a sub-par group of cornerbacks (and that’s being nice). But the lack of fumbles is curious to say the least. Since he’s been in Oakland the Raiders have been very good at creating fumbles under Ken Norton, Jr. Last season, they were tied for the second most fumbles in the league while only being tied for ninth in interceptions.