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Quick hits: Notes, analysis on Raiders offense in week 14 loss to Chiefs

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Quick thoughts and insights on the offensive performance of the week 14 loss to the Chiefs

Sloppy Play is not surprising

  • I hate Thursday Night Football
  • Biggest game of the year for both teams and it's played with tired players on short rest with little game plan prep time. Not a recipe for an exciting game.
  • It's not an excuse, but 4 days is not much time to get healed, recovered, rested, and prepared.
  • Older players may struggled to get their bodies ready while younger players may struggle to get prepared on a suddenly different schedule.
  • The game on Sunday likely aggravated any injuries and the short week may not have been enough to get things fully healed.
  • Offensive game plan probably could have used more prep time.

Derek Carr was obviously off

  • Cold hands? I wonder if Derek thought of using glove in the cold. He was perfectly fine with it when he used it v Carolina.
  • Not quite recovered pinky? Only 4 days since playing with it
  • Struggling v defensive scheme?
  • Early pressure from the LG position (Vadal)
  • Derek could not get timing with Jalen Richard. Had at least two major misses to an open Richard.
  • Because of Chiefs' home field crowd noise, Derek could not use his cadence as a weapon on short yardage.
  • ver since the Week 1 v New Orleans, Derek Carr now scrambles and reaches out for the first instead of diving.

WRs struggled

  • when Carr did make his good throws, the receivers let him down.
  • He had some really great throws at times to Seth Roberts early and to Crabtree also early.
  • It was almost a "Perfect Storm" of failures.
  • Not an excuse, but was Crabtree's finger still bothering him ?

Suffocating Amari

  • Every time I look for Amari, there are at least 2 Chiefs around him.
  • The Chiefs not only do a good job of scheming bracket coverage on him, but the defenders are so well coached that they maintain excellent position / leverage on him.
  • Derek Carr trusts his receivers to win 1-on-1s, but he is (often) reluctant to throw into double coverage. This is one reason that he has so few interceptions, but it is also why Amari can get "shut out".
  • Other receivers were not able to take advantage of attention on Amari
  • RB v LB mismatch, particularly on the outside, may have been helpful. Perhaps with more game prep, it would have been a larger, more effective part of the attack.

Miss you KO

  • LG Kelechi Osemele was out with an illness and replaced in the starting lineup by Vadal Alexander.
  • on the 1st play of the 2nd drive, Carr took a big hit by Chris Jones who was blocked by Vadal Alexander.
  • Next drive John Feliciano came in and took over the LG position

  • Running attack may have been even more effective with Osemele in
  • Last year, Carr was often a little jittery and not really trusting of his OL
  • This year, he has been more confident, standing tall, and many times he's stepping up and making strong throws.
  • Early hit may have made Carr a little more anxious in the pocket.
  • Also, sacked on next drive by Justin Houston v Austin Howard which certainly didn't help things

Drops

  • Short week may have contributed to sloppy play from WRs who have been erratic all season
  • They were also challenged often with very fast, quick, talented, physical CBs. It was tough to just get off the line cleanly sometimes and the battles downfield were tough. This may have had a little impact on the WRs when they were actually open.
  • The Raiders have talent to beat KC, but execution must be excellent. KC is too disciplined and makes too many big plays on defense and special teams to play mistakes.
  • The drops were huge, but some were also great strip plays by the defenders. Seth Roberts dropped one early, but he also had a TD stripped from his hands.

The Ending

  • I don't mind the decision on 3rd-and-1 to throw to Andre Holmes.
  • Carr has been aggressive all year when he sees 1-on-1 coverage with no safety help.
  • But I would have liked a jump ball for 6'4" Holmes v 6' Marcus Peters. The ball placement negates Holmes' height advantage.

  • That play would probably have gone to Crabtree if he had not been injured earlier in the drive here :

  • and then on the sideline.

  • which may have been more incentive to play it safe on 3rd-and-1.
  • On the final play, Seth gets a terrible release and KC CB Terrance Mitchell does great job of stacking the route. The ball is thrown as backshoulder throw.

  • On the first offensive possession of the 2nd half (after TJ Carrie's interception), the Offense gets into 3rd-and-7. Carr throws to Seth on the same route. Carr thought he'd get the same play from Mitchell, but when Seth reacts early on the throw, it gives Mitchell the time to react to it.

  • I don't know if Walford is really as open as it seems; the safety #38 has eyes on the QB and falls off when he sees the throw. He may have been able to make a break on an out-throw to Walford (though we'll never be sure).
  • I really would have liked to see what would have happened on 4th-and-1 had Austin Howard not false started.

Botched FG

  • The botched field goal was a huge play
  • The 3 points lost on that changed the entire game.
  • It was 21-13 with 11:08 remaining in the 3rd quarter.
  • 21-13 means a TD + 2 point conversion would tie the game.
  • The field goal would have made it 21-16 which means that a TD or 2 field goals would win the game.
  • It changes significantly how conservative the Chiefs' offense could be (for better or worse) and it changes how the Raiders treat drives that get into Chiefs' territory

Derrick Johnson Effect

  • Struggled to consistently run the ball when Derrick Johnson was in
  • Derrick Johnson went out on the 2nd play in the Raiders' final drive in the 1st half. That drive became the most successful drive of the game, a 15-play, 92 yard touchdown drive. The offense averaged 5.8 yards per carry on that drive after Johnson left the game.
  • With Johnson out, the offense averaged 5.5 yards per carry
  • With Johnson out, the offense had only 4 rushes of 3 yards (1,1,2,2). One of the 1-yard carries was a 1 yard TD; the 2 yard carries were both on relatively short yardage, 2-and-3 and 3-and-2.
  • This success may be what encouraged Musgrave/Del Rio/Carr to throw on 3rd-and-1 at the end; they may have felt confident that they could convert 4th-and-1 regardless.
  • Here's a table comparing rushing attack against KC defense with and without Johnson.
With Without Total
Att 8 20 28
Yards 23 109 132
Avg 2.9 5.5 4.7

Props to the Devil

  • The Chiefs are a great defense with great personnel.
  • The DBs are so well coached and talented that they definitely cause both the receivers and the QB to have difficulties
  • A challenge like this is exactly what the team needs to really get this rivalry heated
  • This setback is going to ultimately help this team. Adjusting, adapting, and overcoming is going to make this offense so much stronger and able to overwhelm lesser defenses.
  • I really hope this team gets a 3rd chance at the Chiefs this year.

Next

  • Getting out of this game injury free was important. Though Crabtree did (re)injure his finger. If that's major, then it's a big blow
  • Just surviving the Thursday Night game is a big deal (A win would have been the icing on the cake); the 10 days of rest for the final push is huge.
  • Hopefully the walking wounded will get healthy :
    • Stacy McGee
    • Darius Latham
    • Kelechi Osemele
    • Karl Joseph
    • Derek Carr
    • Michael Crabtree
    • Mario Edwards Jr (maybe?)
  • And even for older guys like Donald Penn and Austin Howard, having time to rest up is huge.