Explains why we switched to a pass heavy offense near the end of the game and where the defense faltered in stopping the run.
Week 9 Film Review: Palmer vs. Tebow By ANDY BENOIT
A closer look at Week 9, with the benefit of film analysis:
Raider fans who are worried about their team’s new franchise quarterback can actually feel optimistic. Carson Palmer was, for the most part, impressive in this game. His three interceptions were all explainable: the first was a case of a superstar cornerback, Champ Bailey, dominating a callow wideout, Denarius Moore, in bump-and-run coverage. On the second interception, Moore tipped the ball over the middle (the throw was a tad high). The third pick was in garbage time in hurry-up mode, with Palmer being hit as he threw. These were not like the Palmer misreads that led to turnovers against the Chiefs two weeks ago. He showed poise, great pocket mobility and good touch. There were minor chemistry issues with the receivers. But keep in mind, Moore is young and still learning. Jacoby Ford (who was excellent in the first half) has missed some time, and T.J. Houshmandzadeh is a newcomer (who supplanted Darrius Heyward-Bey in the rotation but had trouble all afternoon getting separation).
Oakland’s run game was strong in the first half but tailed off after center Samson Satele’s injury reshuffled the interior front line (Stefan Wisniewski had been playing well at left guard but struggled after sliding over to center). This, along with a flood of penalties, compromised the flow of the offense. For the Broncos, a few notes: Von Miller was used as an inside blitzer, which proved to be a highly successful new wrinkle for this defense. The box score says that Elvis Dumervil, with his first 1.5 sacks of the season, came out of his slumber. He didn’t. The half-sack was produced by Miller and the full sack was a classic coverage sack. Dumervil was, however, part of a Broncos front seven that bogged down the run fairly well in the second half.
Broncos O vs. Raiders D
The Raiders will kick themselves after watching this film. Their run defense was outstanding for much of the game but fell apart late. They gave up two big runs to Tim Tebow and two to Willis McGahee on shotgun read options. Oakland’s linebacking group seemed completely unprepared for the read option, which is inexcusable given Denver’s limited passing weapons. It’s surprising that the Raiders did not shadow Tebow the way the Dolphins did. His scrambles were difference-making. Hard to fathom how a defense can be ill-prepared for Tebow’s runs. Daryl Blackstock, starting for injured middle linebacker Rolando McClain, was particularly bad. He was easily manipulated by the offense’s tactical deceits and lacked the speed to get outside or recover from his mistakes. The Broncos’ coaching staff did a great job of building a pro-Tebow game plan – and he responded. Tebow ran well, protected the football and, on three occasions, properly executed a throw that made the Raiders pay for mistakes in man coverage. Whether this sort of plan can work week to week remains to be seen.