Sean Smith Played One Of His Best Games As A Raider On Sunday

Few, if any, on the Raiders roster have taken more criticism in recent weeks than Sean Smith.

And for good reason.

The Raiders $40 million cornerback was up and down in 2016 and struggled again in preseason. When a summer arrest came to light in August, many wondered if the Raiders might decide to cut bait and move on from the 30 year-old cornerback.

The team ultimately chose to stand by Smith and on Sunday they were rewarded for it.

Pro Football Focus gave Smith an 86.3 grade against the Titans, good for the 5th-best cornerback performance in the NFL leading into Monday night.

Sunday was a perfect storm of sorts as the Titans don’t feature the kind of speedy receivers Smith has struggled to defend in the past. The Raiders also featured more zone coverages – an adjustment many have suggested would benefit Smith in the past.

Whatever the reason for his one-game resurgence, Smith’s play was a pleasant surprise the Raiders would like to see more often.

With first-round pick Gareon Conley expected to return this week against the Jets, the outlook for the Raiders secondary is a little brighter than it was a week ago. Maybe not bright enough to pull out your solar-approved sunglasses, but brighter than its been in a while.

twitter: @raidersbeat


4 thoughts on “Sean Smith Played One Of His Best Games As A Raider On Sunday

  1. So glad to see the defense as a whole step up. The defense of backs were taking care of business. Karl Joseph batting the past down in the end zone was a breath of fresh air. Smith played really well as you mentioned. Did anybody see Eddie? Wow! I like our D.

  2. I for one was VERY SKEPTICAL of this defense. I know preseason means NOTHING! But they hadn’t shown they could stop the run or the pass! They looked like last year’s defense! Well for 2 and a half quarters they proved me wrong! Sean Smith played like the man we paid in free agency! The LB’s and D-line played the run well. Vanderdos looked like the REAL DEAL with many pushes up the middle! Mariota’s a very mobile QB and escaped many times. But God help a normal QB if he keeps getting the push up the middle. Mack and Irvin are going to be MONSTERS!! Even Jelly looked good. If this Defense can continue to play like this, the Raiders are a Superbowl team!! We’ll see. I need more convincing from our D! But against the Titans except for a qtr and a half, they played great defense. Hope they can keep it up! RAIDERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Smith had the highest PFF rating of all the DefBacks in 2016. There’s really no surprise here. You get the feeling that the secondary is being unfairly blamed for the team’s defensive woes. It was the lack of a passrush that has hurt this Raiders team.

Comments are closed.