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A few Thoughts about the Raider's Offense v Jaguars

A few initial thoughts after glancing thru some plays :

(1) Myers had problems again. We can now be pretty sure that Myers is not able to consistently block DEs on the playside. His guy is always crashing. This is now beyond an "execution" problem and is now schematic; he can't do it. Don't ask him to do it anymore. To be fair, these DL are brutes and Ausberry and Willie and Veldheer all had trouble as well.

(2) My pre-game assessment of the Jags DL was that they were VERY athletic and powerful but very uncoordinated and lacking discipline. They got that corrected. I feared that they could defeat one-on-ones but hoped that they would get out of position as they had earlier this year.

(3) LBs had been also uncoordinated and aggressive, overpursuing often. They also corrected that.

(4) They were a terrible blitz team this year; very predictable and pre-snap reads were basic. They fixed that and had lots of pressure packages that they haven't shown this year.

(5) The T-E stunt they were running was fantastic. The execution was great and so hard for Veld/Carlisle to defend. They needed help.

I'm not 100% sure, but I feel like the line protection on passing plays was sliding to the right, to help Wilie Smith. This was what left Carlisle and Veldheer vulnerable to that T/E stunt. It looks like Wis is oblivious and not helping when he should; if he's sliding right, then I can understand that. The Posluszny blitz, though, just a miss. If I'm correct about this, then Willie Smith's pass protection issues are causing cascading problems all the way to Veldheer. When is K-Bar coming back? I feel like we'll know more about the line when Barnes is back. I hope they perform better.

(6) Jags' DL did a great job of preventing OL releases. LBs were running free often and making plays. This seems like the biggest culprit for the poor running this day. On several occasions, DMC had a lane, but a free LB was filling. In the 3rd Q, DMC had a clear lane to the end zone, but Wis could not release, leaving Posluszny clean to make the tackle.

(7) Do not discount the benefit of the bye week. The Jaguars' Defense had a totally different look and feel this week than they had in any of the previous weeks. The defensive linemen are all individual brutes and the Raiders lost many one-on-ones. They really got things schemed up nicely and cleaned up many of their assignment problems. They were basically playing like the Raiders played last week. Jags have not been changing coverages much and their disguises were poor; they fixed that.

(8) 2nd play of the game was a fantastic call. If Moore can get a piece of the CB #21 Cox, DMC had a nice gainer and it might have set the tone of the game. It was Cover-1 and the single high safety was backup #42 Prosinski, a notoriously questionable tackler (the Giordano of the Jags, if you will). If DMC clears Cox, he has one-on-one with Prosinski in the openfield.

(9) The biggest reason No Huddle worked so well was that it forced the Defense to declare. That helped with protections and figuring out the coverages. Palmer read Cover-1 several times and made the plays against it. that and the fact that blitzes were picked up was the biggest differences.

(10) Reece and DMC are out of sync. There have clearly been cases where Reece just misses blocks, but today, there were cases where Reece goes one way and DMC goes another. Not clear if there was nec. a play where Reece went, but there certainly wasn't one where DMC went.

(11) OL assignments on run blocking seemed better. But one-on-ones were tough.

(12) Palmer had a wide open Moore on the throw to DHB on the goalline. Man coverage on a dig-out route combination and both DBs went with the dig. Ouch.

(13) Wis looks a step slow and not very comfortable blocking in space on screens. Last year, he was awesome at this and had a highlihgt block 30 yds downfield to spring Bush against the Chargers. Is he heavier? Brisiel is about 2-3 steps slow. Raiders have the screen set up and then the 3 releasing linemen whiff on all their blocks (again).

(14) DMC's pass protection has been very inconsistent this year. That means it has been bad. When he does make the pickup, there's a play to be made, b/c it's often Cover-1. But he's been blown up and also missed the read. Frustrating.

(15) Willie Smith's backside cuts are not very good or the DEs he faces are brutes. He gets the cut on the leg, but the guy doesn't go down or he gets up very quickly.

(16) DHB had 1 critical drop, but he was very good otherwise. Very solid game for him. He has quietly become an above-average route runner.

(17) on Palmer's "stupid" int, he had Goodson open for the first down. But overthrew it. Palmer is not Favre, more like Jake Plummer... well not even that. No more adlibbing, CP, no matter how desperate. This partly happened b/c of how inept the offense was and a result of "pressing" or "trying to make a play."

(18) If the Raiders cannot run the ball, Reece becomes less of a mismatch. Nickel CB coverage on him can be effective. In those cases, Raiders need to be able to run the ball.

(19) Many times with favorable counts in the box, Raiders did not try to run. In fact, the Raiders went away from the run very quickly this week. This could mean that the Raiders on offense will be even more erratic. Though, this may be due to getting down early.

(20) It seems that DMC has lost trust in his blockers. It may actually help all involved to sub him out more often. He also seems out of sync with his lead blockers and sometimes is outrunning them, not letting the blocker get the block before running thru a hole.

(21) CP accuracy on some of those throws was phenomenal and then he missed a pretty "easy" (for him) deep 7 to Moore.

(22) DMC does not seem to set up his blockers very well, either in the base runs or when out in space. eg., On 3rd quarter screen, he gets into the open (eventually run down by the DT!?!?!) and has a WR with outside leverage on the DB. He does not see/use it.

(23) The Jags play the Texans twice a year and have played them already in week 2. They are already familiar with the Kubiak offense. This showed in the way the linemen defended themselves from cut blocks and the way they reacted to the QB playaction boot. That's Texans staple and it got them a couple of times but they were reacting well to it after that. B/c the Raiders could not establish the run game, misdirection was useless. They tried a few but the defense played disciplined and confident. sucks.

The backside linemen were NOT getting put down by the Raiders' cutblocks and that destroyed a couple of would-be cutback runs. I'v ebeen hoping to see McFadden use the backside cutback and he actually looked for it this game. that's an improvement on his part AND there was daylight there. But the inadequate cutblocks let the backside DE or DT close it down quickly. If Willie Smith gets one of these cuts, DMC had a few pretty decent runs set up.

(24) Mostly 5-man protection bothers me, especially when it became obvious that the OL was having trouble blocking 4 or 5. McFadden sometimes released too quickly without reading blitzers. I don't think he ever chipped and there were times it would have been very beneficial, notably on a release to the flat with Wilie Smith having trouble with his man. In hindsight, I believe more Max Protect should have been called.


(25) No one wants to give credit to the Jags. I'll say it, Those guys played their balls off. Hat Tip to their front seven, especially. Remember this was a VERY GOOD defense last year under Del Rio (and this same DC Mel Tucker) and a top-10 run defense with mostly the same front 7. These guys don't suck. They were well prepared and looked like they really wanted it.

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