This week’s Busters comes with good news, because no one in this game was a glaring, easy choice for the Top Buster. That was not the case in week one and two.
After being named a Baller last week, he had a target on his back in this one. The first drive he had a missed tackle on a run play and gave up a 10-yard catch to tight end Jason Witten. In the second quarter he gave up another 10-yard catch and then consecutive catches for 6-yards and 28 yards in the zone.
He gave up the Cowboys’ first touchdown to Jason Witten from ten yards out. He was also caught flatfooted in the zone on that 28-yard Witten catch late in the first half. Despite leading the defense with 34 snaps (52%), he recorded just one tackle in the game.
Shilique Calhoun, Eddie Vanderdoes
Neither of these two put up a single statistic in the game. Vanderdoes was blocked on two runs on the Cowboys’ first drive, and once again, Calhoun was just running around lost and confused. The only time I even noticed Calhoun was when he overran a run play, missing both the lead blocker and the runner on his way to the quarterback. By the time he realized what was happening, they had run right by him for a 17-yard gain.
David Sharpe, Jylan Ware, Ian Silberman
The first pass attempt of the second half, Sharpe was late getting out of his stance, allowing the defensive end to easily run past him for an 8-yard sack. It killed that series, resulting in a three-and-out. Early in the fourth quarter, Silberman and Ware ended a drive when they both gave up a tackle for loss, and then on third and one, Ware gave up a sack and forced fumble on Connor Cook. Luckily the Raiders recovered it. The next drive, it was Silberman who gave up the sack on third and 4.
It was a short day for Manuel, seeing just ten snaps. That was mainly because the defensive touchdown in the third kept the offense off the field for much of the third quarter. But some of it was also because Manuel did just about nothing.
After two short 4-yard completions, he took too long to get the snap off on third and 2, forcing Del Rio to call for the timeout. After a big Jamize Olawale run was called back, Del Rio just had him kneel it out with :19 seconds remaining.
A sack on the Raiders’ first series of the third quarter meant he didn’t attempt a pass early on. When he returned for the second series, he attempted two passes with both off target. The first was wide of tight end Cooper Helfet and the second was behind Keon Hatcher on third down. Remember those two 4-yard completions early on? Those were his only completions of the game.
The hot story of camp has cooled off of late. He was beaten to give up what would be the 44-yard game-winning touchdown early in the 4th quarter. Then on the following series, he gave up an 11-yard catch on third and 5 with the Raiders desperate to get the offense back on the field.