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Raiders week 12 Ballers & Busters: Part two

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The Busters for the Raiders 24-21 win over the Titans in week 12.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports


Neiko Thorpe

Thorpe was the Raiders' nickel corner with the benching of DJ Hayden. Thorpe's mistakes proved extremely costly to the Raiders throughout the game. His first mistake was on special teams where he was called for holding on a return that had the Raiders drive starting at the 4-yard-line. With that as his only mistake of the first half, the Raiders took a 17-6 lead early in the third quarter.

On the Titans first possession of the second half, they drove to the 16-yard-line. In second and 7 from the 13, Titans receiver Harry Douglas got behind Thorpe in the end zone. Thorpe recovered in time to defend the pass, but, perhaps thinking the pass would arrive sooner than it did, he practically tackled Douglas before the ball got there for one of the more blatant pass interference penalties you'll see. Even with the mugging, Douglas still caught the ball for the touchdown, which had the Titans declining the penalty.

With their extra point having been blocked early in the game, the Titans went for two after this touchdown. And again it was Thorpe who was beaten to give up the catch for the conversion. It allowed the Titans to pull within three at 17-14.

Late in the fourth quarter, the Titans were driving again. A stop on third and goal at the 8-yard-line would hold the drive to a field goal for the tie. But Thorpe was once again called for pass interference in the end zone. One can argue the pass was uncatchable, but you can't argue whether Thorpe interfered with the receiver. The penalty gave the Titans the first down at the 1-yard-line and they punched it in for the lead on the next play.

Because of the 2-point conversion given up earlier, the touchdown gave the Titans a 4-point lead which meant the Raiders would need a touchdown on their final drive. Luckily they got it.

Austin Howard

On just the second offensive play of the game for the Raiders, Carr saw pressure. It came up the middle and from the right side. The rusher from the right side went around Howard and nailed Carr after the pass. The hit hurt Carr and he laid on the turf for a couple minutes before heading to the sideline. Thankfully he was ok and returned for the next drive, but that series was toast.

That second drive also ended with a pressure. And again it was Howard who gave it up. The pressure caused Carr to flee the pocket and attempt a shovel pass that didn't go well. It was well off target and fell incomplete to force a punt.

Late in the second quarter, Howard gave up a run stuff at the line. Then he gave up another one on the Raiders first drive of the third quarter. Those run stuffs were two of just five for which the offensive line was responsible. The sack he gave up was the only sack of the day on Carr. He also gave up two of the total three Titans pressures.

Michael Crabtree

Cooper may have eschewed his dropsies for this game, but Crabtree took the mantle. He saw 8 passes and had 4 catches for 19 yards and a touchdown. Of his incompletions, only one was off target.

Two of his drops came on the same drive early in the second quarter. With the Raiders in first down at the 50-yard-line, Crabtree couldn't get ahold of a pass on a crossing route. Two plays later, on third and 2, he had his other drop. The Raiders went for it on fourth down and couldn't convert.

His third drop came on the Raiders' final drive. Carr placed it over his shoulder and Crabtree got both hands on it, but couldn't corral it. It put the Raiders in third down, which they were able to convert. Crabtree also missed a block early in the game that resulted in a run stuff at the line.

Gabe Jackson

The Raiders had one of their worst games of the season in terms of yards per carry. And while Jackson laid a few key blocks in the game, he also gave up three stuffs, including two for losses. The Raiders gained 23 yards on seven carries (3.2 ypc) with Jackson as the primary blocker with the running backs averaging 3.0 yards per carry overall.

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