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Quick hits: Notes, analysis on Raiders offense in week 16 win over Colts

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Quick thoughts and insights on the offensive performance of the week 16 win over the Colts

Complete Game

  • A little slow start, but this may have been the most complete offensive display all year.
  • After brutal early drop, Michael Crabtree was money all day
  • Early gameplan to attacking CBs downfield seemed solid. Had chances, but couldn't hit the throws. A little underthrow and a little overthrow. Tough throws, indeed, but ones that Derek Carr has been hitting and that we've come to expect from him.

  • Later Derek makes the ridiculous, pin-point "Drop in the Bucket"-throw to Crabtree

  • Seth Roberts could not get separation. Had some catch opportunities (including one in the endzone), but the ball was knocked free (I would not call these "drops", though).
  • 5 for 5 touchdowns in the redzone. Last few games, the Raiders' offense has not been able to convert opportunities into 7 and has been settling for field goals.
  • Still think it odd to throw a "Dive ball" to 6'4" Andre Holmes instead of a "Jump ball"
  • Aided by some short fields (thank you, Nate Allen and Malcolm Smith) and then converted them for touchdowns instead of field goals
  • Crabtree's injury put Andre Holmes in the game
  • So far this year, the 3rd quarter has been difficult. No 3rd quarter letdown this time as the offense roared out of the gate, taking the 2nd half kickoff and driving 77 yards for the TD.
  • The first TD was a 12-play, 54 yard drive (that overcame 13 yards of penalties).
  • Of the 5 TDs, 4 were 65+ yard drives (67, 77, 79, 80). Only one was "short field", a 38 yard drive after the Malcolm Smith "punch-fumble."
  • The defense gifted the offense with 3 takeaways, but the offense still had to work long fields (and they did)
  • This offense was really getting on a roll and started to feel like a Juggernaut that could not be stopped.

Little Big Men

  • Mark this game down. It may be the Coming Out party for the RB committee.
  • Jalen Richard looked unstoppable in the first half before suffering an injury.
  • After being inactive for 2 games, DeAndre Washington responds with a "Don't bench me again"-game.
  • This attitude of responding to adversity--in this case, lack of playing time--by keeping his head high and working harder, has been uniform of this team. 2016 Raiders don't complain and don't hang their heads; they stay positive and keep grinding. I love that and it's a huge credit to the coaching staff and the front office for instilling this atmosphere.
  • One of the best thing to see was DeAndre doing the dirty work in pass protection. That's how a rookie earns more playing time.

  • It appeared early that Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington were a better match up against the fast and aggressive Indy defense than Latavius Murray.
  • LB #44 Antonio Morrison seemed everywhere when Latavius was running, but was rarely to be found with Jalen and DeAndre.
  • Attack the LOS and lateral cuts to find a crease led to big runs
  • Jalen and DeAndre can make free running defenders miss, but Latavius struggles.
  • Huge difference in get-off

  • Both Jalen and DeAndre have short, quick, explosive steps while Latavius has those long strides. It shows up in the get off as they approach the line of scrimmage and also in how they are able to react and cut laterally.
  • Jalen and DeAndre make such quick, hard cuts approaching the hole and in the hole, often getting defenders to jump out of their gaps.
  • Defenders were aggressively surging at initial point of attack and the runners were getting to clearing
  • Similar to what happened v Denver
  • Run game opened up the passing game to fantastic effect
  • On 1st quarter goalline run, Latavius jumps for the endzone from 2 yards out and is stuffed by #44 Morrison. Looks like he had a lane if he decided to stay on the ground and cutback and power run it through.
  • 2nd Half DeAndre got hot and Bill Musgrave stayed with him
  • Even though Musgrave went "hot hand", Latavius still finished the day with the most carries of the 3 RBs.
Att Yards Avg TDs
DeAndre Washington 12 99 8.3 2
Jalen Richard 6 66 11.0 1
Latavius Murray 15 40 2.7 0
  • The 2 rookie RBs are growing and becoming more of an integral part of this offense. They provide explosion and spark and are now capable of affecting the game in many ways, on the outside as receivers, receiving in the middle, quick big play runs.

Another 2-Min drive

  • Something very special happens to this offense in the closing minutes of each half. It's not just Derek Car; they all get in The Zone and this offense gets very efficient. They look very confident that they will score.
  • This is why Coach Del Rio likes deferring the ball in the first half. Score at the end of the first half and then receive the ball to begin the 2nd half.
  • At the end of the first half, Reggie Nelson gets the ball back with an interception in the endzone with 1:13 remaining
  • 3 big plays gets down to near the goalline :
    • Jalen Richard big crossfield run
    • Amari Cooper deep pass rec
    • DeAndre checkdown pass and run
  • And then speed out screen to Jalen Richard to finish it off

Screen Game Adjustment

  • Started using the "tear" motion last week and continued to use it this week
    • Helps ID the coverage
    • Clears out the middle of the field
    • Reverse of the motion previously used, where the RB lines up outside and then motions into the backfield
  • Showed the Tunnel Screen that Amari made famous v SD last year

  • Inverted the screen to great effect including Jalen's TD.

  • This was the same play that Amari caught for the game winner in Week 10 v Houston in Mexico City

  • And was also the key play that Amari caught for a 1st down that was negated by the two illegal block penalties (Seth Roberts and Andre Holmes). This set up the 2nd-and-long right before Derek Carr's injury.

  • DBs have been defending the WR screen by attacking it and crashing hard thru the blockers.
  • The variation of using the out-cutting screen may force defenders to play more neutral with their leverage, which may result in making the in-cutting screen effective once again.
  • Also notice in the first screen, Amari Cooper was lined up in the backfield and circles out to the right with Kelechi Osemele as a pulling lead blocker. There's potential for a fake screen throwback play.

Coping with Success

  • The next challenge for this group may be how to deal with extreme success.
  • It is easy and tempting to relax after establishing a large lead (33-14) and lose the intense focus that enabled the team to get the big lead.
  • Clive Walford back-to-back penalties (false start, holding) harming a potentially Heart-Daggering drive
  • Seth Roberts runs the wrong route which was a big play opportunity but instead becomes a (strange) Intentional Grounding penalty.
  • It looks like another perfect read by Derek Carr. He has 1-on-1 with no safety and throws a beautiful rainbow to give Seth a chance for a TD.

  • This team is going to have more and more success and all the players are going to have to be able to keep their concentration even with a big lead.
  • This is part of the maturation process and it will be exciting to watch.

Tough Start and End

  • a couple of missed throws early
  • a key drop by wide open Crabtree on 3rd down
  • a nice pass breakup on throw to Seth Roberts
  • Ending was rough for the obvious reasons, but as has happened all year, at big times, big players made big plays.

Offense continues to grow

  • Offense continues to morph and change with multiple varied pieces
  • The running game keeps improving and provides various different attacks. Each of the runners is different (DeAndre and Jalen have different characteristics as well) and is contributing.
  • Bill Musgrave's offense looks like it is just finding its way and that Musgrave himself is getting a good feel for how he can utilize many of these interesting offensive pieces.
  • Coach Musgrave's toughest tests lie ahead of him, but he seems to be at his peak right now and this offense is primed.
  • Finishing this season, the offense may be good or it may be bad, but it sure won't be boring.
  • One thing we know for sure is that Matt McGloin is not worried.