Lucas Nix: The Oakland Raiders’ Weakest Offensive Link
While the Oakland Raiders’ offensive line hasn’t been as bad as originally expected, there is still one glaring weak spot that is causing problems for the rest of the offense. That weakness is left guard Lucas Nix, who may be one of the worst offensive linemen in the NFL.
Since taking over as the Raiders’ starter at left guard this season, Nix has been nothing more than a major liability.
In 311 snaps (142 run block, 169 pass block), he has allowed five sacks, one quarterback hit and 13 hurries. Nix has earned a -23.5 rating from Pro Football Focus, the second-worst of any guard in the NFL.
Week 8’s win over the Pittsburgh Steelers marked the first game of the season that Nix hasn’t given up a sack.
Not only has he given up immense pressure as a pass protector, but Nix has also been lost as a run blocker. On top of being inexperienced (only six career appearances), he appears to have little understanding of the position and doesn’t seem to grasp the Raiders’ power blocking scheme. If there’s ever breakage in Oakland’s front five, you can bet that it has to do with Nix failing his assignment.
Unfortunately for the Raiders, there aren’t many other options at guard. Mike Brisiel is holding down the right side, which leaves only undrafted rookie Lamar Mady as the swing guard. Mady wasn’t terrible in his first outing, allowing one sack and earning a -1.5 overall rating in 64 snaps against the Kansas City Chiefs. Still, the youngster hasn’t quite shown enough to warrant a starting spot.
The Raiders saw rookie Menelik Watson return to practice on Monday, which could allow them to restructure the line once he’s ready to play. Watson could take over at right tackle and push Matt McCants down to the left guard spot.
No matter how they do it, the Raiders need to get Nix out of the starting lineup. He’s a liability who could end up landing Terrelle Pryor on the shelf if he keeps opening the flood gates.
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