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Oakland Raiders' Personnel Packaging: 2011, Late Drives in the Opener at Mile High

Much to our surprise, the Oakland Raider offense that was the juggernaut that outscored Denver by some 70-plus points in two games last year and scored 8 touchdowns in Mile High failed to show up this time, and it was clearly the defense that gave us the edge against the Broncos. Slightly different personnel in bodies, but not much change in how we package them: Still primarily 21 personnel, with Darren McFadden at tailback, Marcel Reece at fullback, and Brandon Myers filling in nicely for the injured Kevin Boss.

Botched the recording of the game again, so I'll begin with where I have tape from. If I'm able to recover the first half, I'll post on those series as well.

Jump over for the play by play...

Richard Seymour sacks Kyle Orton to end the Denver Broncos' drive, and resume following a punt return putting our Oakland Raiders on the 10 yard line. Nearing the end of the third quarter, score 16-13 Raiders and Denver's lone touchdown coming off the 90 yard return by Pecker... umm Decker.

1st and 10. Single back formation, 12 personnel, two wideouts. McFadden deep, Jason Campbell under center, Brandon Myers TE left side, Richard Gordon right. Jason three step drops, pump fakes, drops back three more feet into the grasp of Denver LB/DE Jason Hunter, who beats RT Stephon Heyer off the snap and around the edge for a sack on JC who fumbles with McFadden quickly falling on the live ball for the recovery. A newbie mistake and loss of this battle by Stephon who should've had the experience to pick up Hunter; he'd better either learn to not get beaten so badly, or show some ability to recover. Barks may get time sooner than later if he keeps that up. Joseph Barksdale showed nice ability on this type of edge rusher in preseason action.

2nd and 16. I formation, 21 personnel, JC under center, with Reece and McFadden deep. Brandon Myers strong side TE. Handoff is to DMC off the left tackle for about four.

3rd and 12. Pro formation, 20 personnel, McFadden deep weak side, Reece shallow backfield strong side, three wide receivers, Nick Miller right side slot, DHB flanking left and Moore on the right. Protection is unable to pick up the sellout blitz, and captain checkdown throws it away in the vicinity of Moore.

Shane Lechler's punt fielded at the 34 is taken to 41 by Eric Decker who's taken down by Rock Cartwright with a nice open field tackle.

Denver working from three wideout, single back sets with the TE left side in shallow protection schemes. Raiders in a five man front with Tommy Kelly and Desmond Bryant the tackles, Matt Shaugnessy and Trevor Scott left and right ends respectively, Kamerion Wimbley standing up on the line left of Shaughnessy. LBs Rolando McClain and Quentin Groves in the box versus defensive weakside, where Knowshon Moreno lines up in the slot, cuts down and out in the flats and picks up some extra yards after DeMarcus Van Dyke misses the leg tackle and Groves almost misses the tackle and gives up the first into Raider territory.

1st and 10 from the 48. Orton under center. Moreno deep, three wide receivers. Eric Decker flanking left motions right before the snap outside the right flanker in the slot, with Chris Johnson coming over to follow him. Decker gets some separation about 15 yards deep on the right side cutting out and Orton hits him off the seven step drop with a timing throw before Decker's even looking. Nice play for the almost twenty yard gain. Chris Johnson tackling, could've read this route and seven step drop, but looks to have played safe here. CJ looks a little shaken up and will be out for the next play, and Jerome Boyd takes his place.

1st and 10 from the 24 yard line. Denver again in the deep single back formation, shallow strong side TE and slot WR bunch, two more on the flanks, Orton under center takes the snap, fakes the handoff to Moreno on the bootleg right, and loses grip of the football cocking back to throw, and Lamarr Houston is there to recover. He was coming hard, and might've made a play on the ball even if he didn't cause the errant slip... Big play, 99. Before the next snap, Dilfer breaks down the play after this next play and shows TE Fells wide open going down and in with only the single high safety to beat for the score had Orton not fumbled. Houston coming made Orton quickl try to get it off, perhaps causing the fumble, with the wet ball of course. D line saving us there against poor coverage on the TE and passes over the middle.

Raiders ball on their own 35 yard line. 21 personnel, Strong I, Myers right and Reece shallow behind him, Darren deep. The wide receivers are both right, and Denarius, wide right, comes in motion to the left finally dropping deep to decoy fake for the fake end around, and Jason buys time with the play action to hit Darrius Heyward-Bey, effectively from the slot finding some space in the middle to deep zone with the in pattern under the deep coverage in the seam and a nice catch. Feels weird, and good, to be saying that... 17 yard gain.

1st and 10 from the 47 yard line. Raiders, now in Denver territory, in 21 again, Strong I, Reece three yards deep strong side, McFadden deep, Myers lined up weakside motions right and sets. Campbell under center hands off to McFadden behind the Fullback lead off tackle right side. Darren hits the huge hole with a head of steam putting the defense on its heels as he cuts quickly against the grain ten yards downfield and cuts laterally while changing the ball to his upfield hand in textbook fashion and cutting laterally to make no less than four more defenders miss, down to the 1 yard line, where he's taken down.

1st and goal on the 12inch line, Raiders in jumbo two TE, third eligibile, I formation, Michael Bush, the short yardage stud behind Reece. Timeout Denver.

1st and goal, same formation as previous, this time Reece goes in motion from the I, to the weak side flank. JC under center takes the snap and keeps it on the sneak for the TD.

12:33 in the 4th quarter remaining. Oakland 23 Denver 13, with 13 Raider points coming off drives sustained from Bronco turnovers.

Broncos resume on the 20 after the touchback. Denver single back weak side, Orton lined up shotgun, TE strong side, slot receiver opposite with three wideouts and two flanking. Looks like we're 4-3 man press again, corners backing off before the snap. This time our front four blows the pocket up, and Kelly who creates initial pressure gets Orton by the foot while he attempts to escape the pressure right, for the sack four yards deep.

2nd and 14 16 yard line. Denver comes out in the same formation. Orton's looking downfield, but has to hit Moreno who finds some space underneath the deep coverage but short of the first, and fumbles the ball, stripped by Matt Giordano, but the Broncos recover.

3rd and 3. Seymour leaves the field shaken up on the play. Broncos again three wide, slot right, TE right, single back weakside. Desmond Bryant takes Kelly's place on the line, and Kelly in Seymour's. Looks like a 4-2-5 nickel defense for us. Brandon Lloyd with a hard inside slant picks up the first and some change, losing the football as Chris Johnson tackles, but Denver recovers. Probably would've been ruled down by contact anyways.

1st and 10. Denver in the same set. Holding negates a short pass gain of two yards.

1st and 20 38 yard line. Denver 11 personnel, single back strong side, TE on the left, slot receiver opposite w two flankers, Orton shotgun. Raiders send the front four, including Wimbley from the Sam spot up on the line where he usually comes from, and Rolando, who appeared to show dropping back before coming. Orton gets the ball off and almost completes it to Decker down the right sideline, who drops the diving attempt, but there's a flag on the play. Offsides on Houston, declined, and PI, on Stanford Routt covering Decker, accepted. More garbage yards to get Denver their only points they wouldn't have had without. On the replay it's questionable, to say the least, but moot.

1st and 10 from the 41 in Raiders' territory. Single back deep 11 personnel strong side, slot flanker opposite (notice a theme there?). Looks like we're going 4-2-5 nickel again, with a substitution of Boyd or DVD or Porter randomly. Routt and CJ usually manning up with the wideouts. This play Desmond Bryant deserves credit for absolutely blowing up his side guard, immediately drawing help from the TE, picking LT Clady, allowing Shaugnessy to come free on the stunt up the middle to cream Kyle Orton. Great play.

2nd and 19 from the 50 yard line. Denver in 10 personnel, four wide receivers, two slot left, two flankers, single back strong side. Orton under pressure throws to the middle, almost picked by Tyvon Branch.

3rd and 19, 50. 9:32 remaining in the 4th quarter. Same formation and similar play, Orton looks for the same seam on the right where two Raiders again converge on the ball to knock it down. Denver fans shouting "TEBOW, TEBOW." Morons. He's your third stringer anyways. Brady Quinn would come in first.

Raiders take over after the punt. 1st and 10 from the 20. A pitch left to McFadden is stopped for a gain of ayard or so by Brian Dawkins who's lined up on that side to meet him.

2nd and 9, 21. Raiders in 21 personnel, Marcel and Darren in the I behind JC under center. Play action fake to McFadden and JC throws deep to DHB attempting a double move down the right. Overthrown incomplete.

3rd and 9, 21. 21 personnel, backs in the pro form, the FB fake halfback toss to McFadden inside for three yards brings up the punt. Shane Lechler punts it 77 yards! O-mazing.

Penalty on first down brings up 1st and 5. 25 yard line. A hold on Denver negates a 7 yard gain by Daniel Fells on the out route. Dilfer, in a fleeting spell of brilliance, notes there should be a stat for D lineman like Houston who draw holding penatlies because of their efforts to the whistle. The tape reveals this was an insightful call by Trent: Lamarr was a beast and Denver's RT held because he was badly beaten.

1st 15 on 15 yard line. The HB draw to Moreno nets close to the first down. Our defense still suspect to this when we get caught looking pass. We'll have to be ready for the no huddle too, because NE absolutely picked Miami apart with it. Buffalo will attempt to get us there too, as will the NYJ. Those wiley Easterners.

23-13 Raiders, just under 7 minutes on the clock. 2nd and 6. Orton fires underneath coverage left side, but Chris Johnson jumps the receiver's route brilliantly, and knocks it down.

3rd and 6. Orton completes to McGahee underneath, who gets the first down after contact...

This is where my botched recording stops! Hopefully this game will be replayed this week, at which point I'll break down some more.

Penalties were often completely avoidable, but so long as they don't cost us, I'm okay with some of them. Especially in a game like this in their house. Flags were flying all day on both sides. Let's eliminate the drive killing ones, and those we can avoid.