I'm a little embarrassed about this. In my latest Ballers & Busters for the Raiders' game against the Broncos last Sunday, I named just two Ballers -- Sio Moore and Justin Tuck. Now, it appears I may have missed an egregious mistake that would probably have changed my analysis.
One of the things Sio Moore is typically known for is his hustle. But as NFL Network's Mike Mayock noticed when anaylizing the game, there was one play on Sunday where his lack of hustle cost the Raiders big time.
With 3:00 remaining in the second quarter of the game, the Raiders were ahead 10-6 and were hoping to ride that lead or possibly extend it heading into the locker room. The Broncos lined up in 3rd and 8 and the Raiders had their chance.
Peyton Manning hit running back CJ Anderson in the flat and he broke several tackles on his way to a 51-yard touchdown. It was the play all the Raiders players agreed was when the tide turned. Or as Justin Tuck put it "It took the wind out of our sails."
In my Ballers & Busters, a great deal of weight was placed upon the missed tackles on that play due to the impact it had on the outcome of the game. It began a run of 35 unanswered points over the next 17 minutes of play.
There were three missed tackles on the play. The primary missed tackle came from Miles Burris as Anderson was his assignment. Anderson slipped through the feeble attempt and then it was up to Khalil Mack and Charles Woodson but Anderson made a move, they left their feet, and he escaped their grasp as well. Then it was off to the races.
That's where Mayock noticed (and I didn't because I was focusing on the missed tackles) Sio Moore come into the area and promptly stop going after it and begin walking. Then once Sio realized Anderson was not tackled, he still didn't go full board to stop him. He jogged over and trailed the play, not making an attempt to tackle him despite plenty of opportunity.
Mayock broke down the play in his Coverage Gaps segment, but I took a video of the play. You can see right about the time Mack and Woodson are attempting to tackle Anderson, Moore comes in at the top of the screen, walking.
It was very much like the kind of play we had come to expect from Rolando McClain during his time in Oakland. Certainly not something we expect from the player with the nickname 'Juice'.
For the most part, the Raiders defense was throttled by Peyton Manning and the Broncos. The Raiders offense was even more inept, though it seemed partially due to their own terrible play.
Sio Moore was supposed to be one of the few exceptions. Granted Sio came all the way from the opposite side of the field to get there, but there is never an excuse for that lack of hustle. It's the very reason the Raiders are in the situation they're in. Sio gave up on the play, and after that the rest of the defense gave up as well.