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Quick Hits: Notes, analysis of Raiders week 3 win over Titans

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A first pass review of what I saw and thought I saw and some various ruminations.

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After a second watch thru, here are my semi-organized thoughts :

Defense

  • Run D made the adjustments and came out pretty effective and clearly cleaned up some of the problems v ATL. This shows that the coaching staff can get things fixed, but it does take time. Couldn't fix everything, but it makes me optimistic going forward.
  • No PB&J again.
    • Starting Interior lineup : Stacy McGee - Jelly - Jihad (despite what CBS showed on the TV)
  • Khalil and Bruce and Shilique struggled in Force responsibilities (ie., they were terrible in it)
    • Was it a player issue?
    • Or were there scheme problems that had them confused or in "Conflict of Assignment"?
  • Titans did not avoid Khalil Mack on the run game.
    • They actually ran AT Mack (or around him) often
    • Was Mack expecting runs away from him? So many teams have just run away from Mack, he may have been surprised by it
    • The Titans were doing different things to him with TE motion. Maybe that had him a little confused.
    • That big run on the 2nd play was at Mack and he lost his Force assignment
    • The Zone read big run by Mariota had Mack biting hard on the runner.
    • He may also be frustrated and eager to make a big splash play and so he's trying too hard ("Hero Ball")
    • I am not worried about Mack overall; he'll be fine. But the stat (no sacks) becomes an albatross for many
  • Bruce Irvin was locked down at the LOS sometimes (with double teams) and totally lost force.
    • Was very surprising b/c Bruce has been playing force exceptionally well
    • Demarco Murray's TD run was played perfectly well by everyone else, but Bruce lost force. If Bruce plays it right, it's a no-gain / short-gain play.
  • Shilique looked so unsure of what he was doing.
    • How NOT to play Force. Shilique needs to be to the outside and funneling Derrick Henry back inside towards his help (Karl Joseph). When Shilique plays to the blocker's inside shoulder, it lets Henry get outside and forces Karl to go chasing.

  • Jihad & Denico struggled again in Run defense
    • One one series in the 4th quarter, Titans ran 3 or 4 consecutive times at Jihad / Denico and shoved each of them back 2-3 yards off the LOS.
    • Jihad was struggling anyway and he looked absolutely worn out in the 4th
    • If I were an OC, I would find Jihad or Denico and run right at them every time. Right now, they are not holding up (for various reasons).
  • Darius Latham may start stealing some reps.
    • Tennessee heat had the rotation bringing Latham in pretty early
    • The Lathe looks noticeably improved each week.
    • Prediction : Will break into starting lineup at some point this year
  • Playing point of attack and backside cutbacks much better
    • Looked more disciplined
    • but did not lose aggression
  • LB schemed up and coached up to read the play
    • Big improvement in how they were reading plays
    • Malcolm made some nice reads and adjustments
  • Players looked exhausted on run d in the 4th quarter.
  • 4th quarter run D : Titans' 3 worst runs would still have netted a 1st down (3 yards, 4 yards, 4 yards)
    • They were getting 5, 6, or 7 yards easily.
  • Run D Splits :
    • 1st Half : 12 / 40, 3.3 avg
    • 2nd Half : 14 / 119, 8.5 avg
  • Secondary had a nice game, but no Delanie and Mariota looked not very (consistently) accurate.
  • DJ Hayden played angry ball.
    • Had some nice reads on screens/ underneath throws and made some big tackles
    • One bad play was on the scramble drill, where he lost track of TE
    • Another completion against him where he had Plus-Coverage and it was a perfect throw right outside his reach
    • Hopefully he can build on this

  • Cory James looked like a rookie starting his first game
    • Game seemed very fast for him
    • Was checking with teammates on how to line up pre-snap often
    • was mis-stepping sometimes
    • But when he fired his gun, that bullet came out fast.
    • There were two big plays, reading a draw and a Cross-Dog where James looked really good
  • Did not get real good feel for how Karl Joseph played. Need A22 for that, but a few bits :
    • Poor contain meant Karl was in chase mode often
    • Impressed with acceleration on Blitz (that didn't get there, but flushed Mariota)
    • Call him "Flubber" for the way he accelerates and bounces off people
    • Here's a nice but innocuous play by Karl. What I like is how he tracks Demarco, staying under control and keeping his leverage assignment and not overcommiting. He is playing excellent team defense even though you know he wants to just go blow up Demarco. I love this.

Offense

  • Penalties and drops and missed throws really hurt and Killed drives.
  • OL did good job of protection, generally.
  • Bringing in Vadal to start 2nd Quarter was interesting and proved prescient
  • Menelik was having a nice game and was starting to look comfortable working with Big Gabe
    • Wonder how much Running attack was impacted by loss of Menelik.
    • "Calf Strain" doesn't sound too serious. Hopefully he'll get healthy quick.
  • Musgrave's gameplan was to attack Titans' secondary
    • Carr took quite a few downfield shots
    • Last week, Carr would check down often or look for just the quick short throw. This week, he wanted chunk yards and was willing to wait for it.
    • Aggressive play calling in 4th quarter with the lead, but couldn't execute to put away Titans
  • Carr looked more focused and decisive this game.
    • Trusted his OL and stood tall and stepped up in the pocket more.
    • Looked like he had more confidence in the protection (or poor Titans pass rush)
    • He held onto the ball and waited for things to open up a little longer; also looked for more downfield throws.
    • Perhaps coverage was worse, scheme less confusing
  • Carr had some of Half-rolls/moving pocket and a few Naked Boots (maybe stealing a bit from what Atlanta did)
    • Need to figure out protections during rolls though b/c Titans were getting some free runners at DC
    • I especially like the moving pocket b/c it encourages/re-inforces Derek rolling and then re-setting his feet to throw. He's good at throwing on the run, but can be erratic and sometimes (often) he doesn't need to.
    • However, a few plays he showed "special" arm by throwing on the run and drilling the ball
    • That cross-field throw to Crabtree was crazy
  • The offense started off on FIRE and loked like they were locked-in and were going to put up 30+ points.
  • Lots of deep sideline shots to Amari and very close to bringing them in.
  • Seth always redeems himself for a drop with a TD.
  • When they took the lead, something happened and the offense went out of sync
    • Carr had some missed throws and some bad throws into coverage
    • Receivers had some bad drops and they were all at key points
    • More Penalties happened that killed drives
    • Did they relax with the lead?
    • Still a young team and may be developing the "Killer Instinct"
  • Wondering whether HC Jack Del Rio's attitude "Might as well win it" v NO when he went for 2 points is carrying over and the attitude going forward will be "Let's go win it" with more aggressive attack gameplans.
    • Or perhaps Musgrave has more confidence in the offense and Carr now and is giving him more downfield play calls.
    • Will know more in a few weeks
  • Crabtree continues to be so clutch and consistent. Does anyone even remember his 49er days anymore?
  • KO goes Bowling for Titans

  • Marquette is a stud
    • His last punt was almost brilliant. Landed right at the 1 yard line and had gunners near it, but it bounded into the endzone.
    • He hit a 72 yard Bomb that went 80 yards in the air; he hit it at the 19 and it landed at the 1. I'm waiting for him to punt from the endzone and get a touchback.
  • Officiating seemed poor on both sides.
    • Was a mess on the field most of the day with bad calls for either side.
    • Thought Andre Johnson OPI was good call.
    • Also thought final play should have been called PI on Carrie for grab on Harry Douglas' shoulder pad. Maybe "Harry Douglas" doesn't get that call?
    • Last year, Raiders were bailed out on 4th down incomplete to Andre Holmes when a Def Holding was called across the field.
    • Taylor Lewan's penalty was huge. Titans' would have been able to run it in from the 3 yard line.
  • Running game stats look great. 25 rushes, 123 yards, 4.9 avg, 1 TD
    • Was bolstered by 4 big runs, but was not consistent and reliable.
    • 4 double-digit runs of 30 yds, 22, 14, 10 (2 of which came during 2 min drill) accounted for 61% of rushing yards
    • 12 runs of < 3 yards
    • Titans defenders really swarmed point of attack and often had +1 defenders.
      • They have some really good pieces, esp at LB (and Jurrell Casey)
    • Running attack looked excellent at times, not so good at others.
    • Latavius took a lot of the tough plays and is most suitable to take lots of carries/hits and grinder plays.
    • It makes it easier for Richard and Washington to make big plays and really used to NFL Speed and Power.
    • I don't want either Richard or Washington taking 20+ hits a game yet.
    • It will be interesting to see how the backfield works out over the course of the season.
    • Vadal had a couple of mental mistakes that had him chasing and leaving a defender free.
    • On the 3rd and short with Olawale, there was a miscomm b/w KO+Penn and they both released on Jurrell Casey who naturally blew up the play. A decent block on him and Jamize has a chance at the first down.
  • As Richard and Washington get more up to speed, I expect they will be worked into the passing game more.
    • They are such natural pass catchers and so dangerous with the ball
    • Musgrave is not rushing them and I think that is smart.
  • This is a young team still and we have been experiencing the growing pains.
    • And there are definitely more to come.
    • What I like is that there is clear improvement AND the Coaches have been able to address deficiencies.
    • The Next Gen Raiders are still being built and we are watching the foundation being put in.

P.S.

Jamize's play has made Marcel Reece expendable.

  • It was the right move, b/c Reece does not really have a role on this team right now.
  • His leadership will be missed, though.
  • Keeping him on the roster for his suspension and then releasing him makes it easier for him to sign with another team.
  • I love you, Marcel, but my ♫ Heart Will Go On ♪.