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Raiders week one Ballers & Busters: Part two

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Jeff Zelevansky

With the pats on the back for those few who performed admirably in the stinker that was the Raiders' season opener in New York (Jersey, whatever), I now present...

Busters

Dennis Allen, Greg Olson, Jason Tarver

Jets head coach Rex Ryan and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg completely outcoached Allen, Olson, and Tarver. Talk about out of their depth. Despite having faced these Jets near the end of last season, they were lost out there. The offense was predictable. The Jets always seemed to know when to blitz and when not to blitz. They blitzed quite a bit, but rarely on a run play or screen play. But the biggest transgression by the offensive gameplan was not testing the Jets weak secondary. There were a total of THREE completions past ten yards from the line of scrimmage out of 20 completions. And eight were thrown behind the line of scrimmage. The Raiders punted eight straight times in this game. Two of those were a direct result of calling a pass play too short to pick up the first down.

Things were just as bad on defense. On the Jets drive at the end of the first quarter, the Raiders went in zone on third and eight and gave up a wide open 19-yard grab. A couple plays later, the defense was totally fooled by a read-option play that went for ten yards. Then on the ensuing third and 13, Geno Smith escaped the pocket to find nothing but wide open spaces for him to frolic for a 17-yard first down run. That drive didn't end in a score only by virtue of Smith fumbling at the three-yard line. The same open field for scrambling was there on a drive in the third quarter and Smith went for 12 yards. This time they added a field goal. Jason Tarver apparently didn't get the memo that Geno Smith can run. Then in the fourth quarter, he had Carlos Rogers giving his receiver such a huge cushion, he caught the pass near the line and took it for a 22-yard gain.

If not for some nice plays on turnovers as well as the Jets offense shooting themselves in the foot with penalties, this would have been a blowout.

Derek Carr

He wasn't ready for this. Things started out well with him going 7 for 7 with a touchdown to start the game, but quickly went off the rails after that. That same drive in which his early streak ended nearly resulted in disaster. On third down, he got some pressure up the middle and threw an errant pass that hit Calvin Pryor right in the chest about two yards off the line of scrimmage. It was likely the point blank range and surprise by Pryor that caused him to not be able to hold onto the ball. Carr got off easy there.

The following drive, he didn't step into the pocket as he should have and instead escaped right (ala Terrelle Pryor) and threw the ball away. The next drive fell apart quickly after he was called for a delay of game followed by a bad pass on a screen that was nearly intercepted, but resulted in a loss of four yards. On third and 25, the series mercifully ended with him throwing low and incomplete intended for Denarius Moore.

The next series ended when he was blitzed for a sack. The Jets made it pretty clear they were bringing the house on third and seven and yet Carr didn't make any audibles to change protection. He just went with the play and got sacked. The Jets figured it worked so well that time, they did it again on third and six on the next series. Same result but with Carr throwing the ball away this time.

The following drive featured two-straight tipped passes at the line, then what would have been another delay of game if not for the Raiders getting a timeout called at the last nanosecond. It didn't matter much considering Carr threw a one-yard pass to James Jones on third and ten. The next series ended in another pass too short to pick up the first down.

The next drive was midway through the fourth quarter and was absolutely crucial because the Raiders needed to have enough time to score twice. The first pass was thrown incomplete into coverage. Then on third and nine, Carr was nearly intercepted but the offense was bailed out by a roughing the passer penalty. The next pass went to Denarius Moore behind the line of scrimmage where he was tackled for a loss. A couple plays later, Carr threw a hard pass a bit too early for Rod Streater to see it coming and he couldn't get a handle on it. That was followed by Carr holding the ball too long and getting sacked on third and seven for a seven yard loss.

Carr was able to (miraculaously) move the offense down the field and throw a touchdown late, but it was too late by then. After the failed onsides kick, the Jets kneeled out the clock for the win.

Carlos Rogers

Rogers was targeted nine times in this game. He gave up catches on all nine. Those catches included a 12-yard screen pass on the first drive that ended with a field goal, a 25-yard catch to start the Jets touchdown drive to end the first half, a 6-yard catch on a drive in the third quarter that ended in a field goal, and a 22-yard catch early in the fourth quarter. He also missed a tackle on an 11-yard run early in the third quarter.

Austin Howard

He was on the Jets last season so he was supposed to have the inside scoop on their blitzes and pass rushers. Looked like they had the inside scoop on him. On the Raiders' first play of the game, he gave up pressure on the blitz forcing Carr to get rid of it to Marcel Reece who was tackled for no gain. Two plays later; three-and-out.

On the Very first play of the second half, he missed his block completely and Maurice Jones-Drew was lit up as soon as he was handed the ball. MJD was decleated, the ball came out, and inadvertently kicked in the air where Derek Carr recovered it. Those who would criticize the Raiders undoubtedly had some fun making that into a GIF. They should thank Howard for the entertainment.

Later, to start the fourth quarter, the Raiders were backed up at their own 6-yard line, Howard was pushed back into Derek Carr, causing a tipped incompletion. A couple plays later, Marquette King had to punt out of the back of the endzone. And Howard was supposed to be one of the better free agent signings the Raiders had this off-season. He was their first (unless you count Rodger Saffold).

Miles Burris

While much blame does fall on coaching for the way this defense played, some still goes on the middle linebacker. On this day, with Nick Roach still recovering from his concussion, it was Burris manning the middle. He is the quarterback of the defense and must put them in the proper alignment each play, and most of this game, they were not where they needed to be. I can't help but wonder why Kaluka Maiava wasn't out there. He was the backup middle linebacker all through training camp and preseason. Why suddenly make the change to Burris? As far as on-field performance, it was a mixed bag for Burris. He made some good run stops but was just as often handled on the block, including the 4-yard pitch play on the Jets first touchdown.

Tyvon Branch

He was out of position on a 26-yard catch that put the Jets in first down at the Raiders 3-yard line. If not for a run stop and a forced fumble, that would not have ended well. In the fourth quarter, he was the only Raiders defender who had a good shot to take down Chris Ivory on a 71-yard touchdown run, and Branch blew it. He just bounced off of him, not even slowing him down. That was the clincher that ended up putting the game away. He also had a sack on a blitz, though it was Sio Moore who made it happen.

Darren McFadden

He earned this Buster mention for his terrible pass blocking. With the Raiders very much in need of some good pass blocking to neutralize the blitzes, McFadden gave up three pressures on Carr. One of those pressures in particular nearly ended causing an interception at the end of the Raiders second drive.

Marcel Reece

After two drops in the preseason, Reece took to Twitter to say it would never happen again. Well, it did. He dropped a simple swing pass which was Derek Carr's first incompletion in this game. The rest of his day he touched the ball three times for a grand total of one yard. Not one yard per touch. One yard total. That's one carry for no gain, one catch for no gain, and one catch for one yard. And I can't find fault in the blocking on any of them. Just open field tackles.

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