The Oakland Raiders stayed perfect on the road Sunday as they came back to defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30-24 in overtime on a touchdown pass from Derek Carr to Seth Roberts.
The touchdown would not have been possible without stellar play from the Raiders defense down the stretch, as the Buccaneers last three drives all ended in three-and-outs, setting the Raiders up with good field position each time.
The stops came at a crucial time as in each of Tampa Bay’s overtime possessions all they needed was a field goal to win the game.
Raiders rookie safety Karl Joseph commented on the defense’s play down the stretch, saying that they are capable of being one of the best defenses in the league, via Eddie Paskal of Raiders.com:
“Like I said from the beginning, I think we have the potential to be one of the best defenses in the league,” Joseph said. “You can tell we’ve been improving every week. Once the game was on the line, we knew that, and we knew we couldn’t allow them to score. Everybody was locked in on their job. That’s what it came down to, everybody just doing their job.”
Despite the good performance Sunday the Raiders defense is still statistically one of the wrost in the league as they rank 31st in total defense, 27th against the pass and 28th against the run. Joseph believes that each week they are continuing to improve though:
“I think it’s a lot of new guys playing together, so we had to get kind of acclimated to each other, and get used to playing with each other,” Joseph explained. “I know me, myself, I had to get growing and getting better every week. I think I’ve gotten better every week I’ve played, and I think we’re getting better as a defense every week. We just have to continue to grow, and everybody just continue to do their job, and I think we’re going to be pretty good.”
Joseph was the Raiders first round pick in 2016 out of West Virginia. In eight games (six starts) he has 43 total tackles, five passes defended, an interception and a forced fumble.
Against Tampa Bay he led the Raiders with seven total tackles, and also helped out a secondary that held one of the NFL’s best receivers Mike Evans to just four catches for 50 yards.