Kelechi Osemele, Donald Penn
And so it goes. These two were Top Ballers in week two. Now they find themselves as Top Busters week three. Osemele started things off with a holding penalty which caused the Raiders second drive to be stopped short.
Midway through the second quarter, the Raiders got the ball in scoring position off of the Irvin forced fumble. On the very first play, Carr went to Clive Walford for what looked to be a touchdown. But Donald Penn was called for holding and wiped it away. The Raiders would settle for a long field goal instead.
The following drive started with Osemele giving up a run stuff for no gain to set up a third and six. Luckily the Raiders converted and drove for the score. To his credit, Osemele had one of the key blocks on Washington’s 14-yard run. That was undone with the first drive of the second half.
First it was Penn giving up the pressure on Carr that forced him to escape it and for Crabtree to make his big 29-yard catch. Then it was Osemele giving up a 2-yard stuff and two plays later ending the series by giving up a run stuff for no gain. The final drive of the game for the Raiders came down to a third and 5 and Penn gave up the stop for a 3-yard gain. The Raider then had to punt it away with 1:51 remaining, allowing the Titans to mount a drive to nearly tie the game up.
His day began with missing a tackle on the third play to give up a 17-yard run. That drive ended with a screen play on third and 14 which he stopped at 8 yards. They settled for a field goal, so some good and bad early on. It didn’t get better from there.
With a 17-3 lead entering the third quarter, the Titans went on a long drive. Smith gave up a five-yard run followed by being blocked on a 36-yard run which was the biggest play of the game for any player on either team. The Titans would finish off that drive with their only touchdown of the game to pull to 17-10.
From there, Smith was twice called for offsides – once on the final play of the third quarter and again early in the fourth. Later he was out of position on a 9-yard run.
DJ really makes this difficult. He had a couple of fantastic open field tackles in this game – one on DeMarco Murray -- that I really wanted to give him credit for. But damn it if his poor coverage the rest of this game didn’t kill those hopes.
At the end of the first quarter, with the Titans in third and 19, he very nearly gave up the first down to the tight end. The play was stopped at 16 yards thanks to the assistance of Reggie Nelson on the tackle.
On that first drive of the third quarter, the 36-yard run may have been the biggest play, but it was the 26-yard catch Hayden gave up to the tight end that put the Titans in position to score. Two plays afterward they punched it in the end zone to pull within a touchdown.
It took the Titans until their final drive of the game, but they nearly got that touchdown to tie it… thanks mostly to Hayden who gave up consecutive catches of 25 and 23 yards. Hayden would leave the game winded, replaced by TJ Carrie who had the tight coverage in the end zone on fourth down to prevent the catch and end the game. Hm.
From a good looking first half to a sad looking second half. Here’s the drive breakdown for Carr:
First: 25-yard perfect strike to Amari Cooper up right sideline and a 13-yard connection with Jalen Richard on third and ten. Latavius Murray scored on a 22-yard run to go up 7-0.
Second: 7-yard pass to Crabtree on third and six. Drive stalled due mostly to an Osemele holding penalty.
Third: 11-yard pass to Amari Cooper on third and 5. Overthrows Crabtree on third and 15.
Fourth: TD pass called back due to holding. Throw behind Roberts on a cross. Overthrows Crabtree on third and 20. Field goal.
Fifth: Throw around defender to Cooper for 17 yards on third and 6. Pass to Roberts in left flat who breaks tackle and runs 19 yards for the touchdown. 17-3 at the half.
First half numbers: 15 of 22 (68%) for 135 yards passing and a touchdown.
Sixth: Escape pressure throw to Crabtree on jump ball for 29 yards. Drive ends three runs later.
Seventh: Throws behind Clive Walford incomplete for three-and-out.
Eighth: 21-yard pass to Walford, incomplete pass to covered Roberts, sacked on third and 9.
Ninth: Overthrows Cooper long, throw to Crabtree in coverage where ball is defended and intercepted.
Tenth: Short pass to Crabtree who breaks tackle for 31-yard gain. Cooper drops ball on third down.
Eleventh: High and out of bounds to Cooper, 11-yard pass to Crabtree on third and nine. Drive ends three runs later.
Second half numbers: 6 for 13 (46%) for 114 yards passing and an interception.
While he appears to have been an upgrade to Ben Heeney as evidenced at least part by his 6 solo tackles, he also had his issues. I know; ‘he’s just a rookie, give him a break.’ Noted. But no.
The Titans’ final series of the first quarter, James was out of position to leave the middle of the field wide open for a catch and run of 16 yards by the running back. A few plays later, he had a run stuff at the line. On a drive a bit later, he gave up a 6-yard run and also had a run stuff. See, bad plays and good plays.
James gave up a 14-yard catch that set up the Titans’ touchdown run to begin the third quarter. Later in the quarter, he didn’t fill his gap to allow a 6-yard run.
In the fourth quarter, he gave up two 7-yard runs and on the Titans’ final drive he gave up a 5-yard catch and made the tackle on an 11-yard dump to set up the final fourth down attempt.
Basically, he gave up more plays than he made, but none were of the game-breaking variety. A decent first start for the rookie.
He had one of the Raiders two touchdowns in the game from 19 yards out and it’s the only thing keeping him from being a Buster. He dropped the first pass thrown to him. Then after an 8-yard catch, Carr threw a pass that was behind him, but he probably should have been able to catch it anyway. He didn’t and the Raiders ended up settling for a field goal. The drive on which he had the touchdown, he started out with a false start penalty. In the third quarter, he had a catch in his hands, but the defender was able to pry it from him on the way down to begin a three-and-out.
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