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Top 10 AC/DC Near Misses continued

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A look back at the Derek Carr to Amari Cooper duo and a number of potential big plays that didn't quite connect.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

5. Donald Penn's Reception

Q4, 1-10-OAK 25 (9:44) (Shotgun) D.Carr pass short left to D.Penn to OAK 28 for 3 yards (M.Jackson)

This play was mostly just a punchline at the time. It's rare for an ineligible player like Donald Penn to get the ball so that was amusing. But few took notice of the play design and how it was unfolding if not for the tip by Malik Jackson.

In the first matchup against Denver, the Raiders' WR were having difficulty getting open downfield against the Broncos' stifling coverage. One response was to try to make things happen underneath.

The combination of a clearout downfield route and a Pick Play in the middle serves to open up nearly an entire half-field for Amari to run into.

Derek sees it; the play is open. If only he can get the ball to Amari...

... he has a step on the Linebacker who is covering him (!), a clear field, and a potential lead blocker in Michael Crabtree.

He may not be able to go all the way, but that would be a big chunk play against the Broncos defense and who knows what Amari can do with the ball in his hands.

It's a great play by Malik Jackson, but it's also incumbent on Gabe Jackson to be able to clear that throwing lane and to force Malik's hands down.

4. Jump Ball v PIT

Q4, 2-10-PIT 11 (4:37) (Shotgun) D.Carr pass incomplete short right to A.Cooper

The endzone Jump Ball is not really Amari's specialty; he's not a 6'5" long armed monster like Kelvin Benjamin. But he's still well capable of finding space, of getting open, and of going up and grabbing a well-placed ball. Derek Carr's arm is so golden that he can drop it nearly wherever he wants; he just needs time and timing.

This play is 99% perfect. Ball is right on. Amari beats the coverage, easily tracks the ball, and goes up to make the catch.

Just get those feet in bounds.

3. Deep Shot v Revis

Q1, 1-10-OAK 22 (7:09) D.Carr pass incomplete deep left to A.Cooper

Amari can get open deep and Derek can put the ball on the money. But there were just several times that it just seemed off a bit.

Here's a case in point.

Against the Jets, the Raiders' first play from scrimmage is a bomb to Amari down the sideline. Surprisingly, Amari gets a couple of steps on Darrelle Revis and there's a nice hole between CB and safety, but Derek puts the ball out of bounds.

AC/DC isn't going to be missing many more of these wide open deep shots.

2. Deep Post

Q3, 1-10-OAK 10 (11:02) D.Carr sacked at OAK 9 for -1 yards (T.Branch)

There are missed opportunities and then there are Missed Opportunities. The Week 17 Loss against Kansas City was punctuated by 6 sacks of Derek Carr; as a result, it was difficult to find much offensive stability.

AC/DC was disappointing, only striking for 20 yards on 2 receptions.

How much of that could have turned around on just one play. This play.

Chiefs bring a Firezone Blitz, rushing 5 including Tyvon Branch, and dropping 6 into a 3-3 zone coverage.

Bill Musgrave has a perfect play design to gash this defense and get a chunk play. Andre Holmes runs a deep crosser while Amari runs a deep post. This route combo challenges the safety (Eric Berry) in the deep middle and forces a split-second decision : Take Andre or Drop back for Amari :


Berry makes the smart decision to drop back and cover Cooper, but he hesitates a touch and is burned. Amari just blows by him and gets inside position on the deep CB Sean Smith.

This is beautiful. AC/DC is ready to strike!

Not only does Amari get loose, but Derek sees it! His eyes widen and his tongue wags out.

The play is set to be a 90-yard Carr-Bomb to change the entire complexion of the game. And the Raider Nation is about to go wild.

But the protection doesn't hold up. It's 6 blockers on 5 rushers, but Lee Smith can't hold off Tyvon Branch. Just before Carr lets fly, Branch gets to him for the sack.

1. Double Move

Q4, 1-10-OAK 32 (14:29) (Shotgun) D.Carr sacked at OAK 25 for -7 yards (J.Howard)

This is perhaps the most heartbreaking non-play to occur over the course of the 2015 season. It's just a sack on first down, but what went into the play and then how the execution failed is particularly disappointing.

Offensive coordinators spend countless hours planning and preparing plays and thinking about what they are going to call against what defense. They also think about the entire approach for the day and how this will set up the defense to expect certain routes.

In the back pocket, there are always a handful of BANG plays, the perfect plays to use at just the right moment. This was just such a moment and so Bill Musgrave brought out just the right play.

At the start of the 4th quarter, the Raiders are down 23-10 at their own 32 yardline and are getting near desperation time.

The play calls for Amari to run a double-move and post-and-go against Sean Smith. If he can beat the coverage, there's a chance to go up top for a Thunderstrike.

Amari doesn't just beat Smith, he destroys him. He sells the inside move and then explodes downfield so hard that you forget he's running on an injured foot. He gets 2 steps on Smith in a hurry and awaits the throw.

Double moves take time, so this play calls for Max Protect : 7-man protection with both Lee Smith and Latavius Murray staying in to make sure Derek Carr stays clean long enough to find Amari.

The Chiefs are only rushing 4 so it's a perfect set up, 7 Raiders should be able to block 4 Chiefs.

Just as Derek is about to make the throw, Jaye Howard gets free of John Feliciano, runs upfield, and makes the touchdown-saving sack.

But don't blame the rookie RG; he was doing everything just right. It was a strange and awkward coordination problem with Latavius Murray.

Murray chips on Dee Ford and then gets caught up inside. He then gets in Feliciano's way and effectively picks his own RG, allowing Howard to get free.

It's unbelievable.

See near misses 10-6