Derek Carr, Jon Gruden
How does Carr look like he’s regressing? Is it the playbook or his inability to properly execute it? Sometimes it’s clearly one, sometimes it’s clearly the other. Other times it’s less clear. The results are the same, so it may not really matter. What we know is that early in the second quarter, Carr had 3 completions for seven yards and an interception and the Raiders were down 21-0.
The first possession was a three-and-out with Carr completing a 1-yard pass and then overthrowing JJ Nelson on a swing pass. The next possession he completed a 2-yard pass to Nelson and then tried to flee pressure only to slide behind the line of scrimmage for a sack.
The third possession he had his longest completion so far – a 4-yard pass to Nelson. Then overthrew Foster Moreau and was intercepted. There was absolutely no excuse for the interception either. He simply overthrew Moreau due to poor mechanics. The Vikings got the ball at the Oakland 30 and scored their third touchdown.
Gruden got tricky to get the Raiders’ their first touchdown – and the only TD that actually mattered. He called a flea flicker and Nelson breaking wide open meant Carr was able to get throw the ball on target deep. That was the one and only pass Carr completed that traveled more than 20 yards in the air.
The next drive ended with him throwing high and slightly behind Waller who couldn’t make the tough catch. The next one ended on third and 11 with a 1-yard pass. Gotta love those passes into the flat on third and long.
Of Carr’s 242 yards passing, 105 of them came in the fourth quarter after the Raiders were down 31-7 when the Vikings were letting him work down the middle of the field to run time off the clock. So, while anything actually even remotely mattered, he had 137 yards, one TD and one interception.
And I mean, look at this. It’s an RPO. And Carr did not choose wisely.
Someone make sense of this for me. RT and TE double the DE, RG on DT. Then have the RB run right into the LB who is unblocked. pic.twitter.com/0sWQcR9t00— Levi Damien (@LeviDamien) September 24, 2019
Gareon Conley, Curtis Riley
The first third down conversion of the game came off a Conley holding penalty. After Conley had given up a 5-yard catch. The final 55 yards of the drive were courtesy of Riley. First he gave up a 20-yard catch and then was beaten for a 35-yard touchdown.
After the Raiders actually got a stop, Riley was flagged for holding on the ensuing punt return.
Next time the Vikings went on a drive, they converted two third downs. One of them was Conley giving up a 5-yard catch on third and two and tacked on a facemask penalty to make it 20. From there they drove for their second touchdown.
In the third quarter, with the Vikings up 21-7, they drove to the Raiders 31-yard-line. Then the Vikings broke off one of their long runs with several Raiders defenders looking foolish including Riley who missed a tackle as Dalvin Cook went for 15 yards to the 16-yard-line. Two plays later, from the ten-yard-line, Vikings running back Alexander Mattison got a huge hole and ran for the end zone. Riley went for the tackle, but left his feet and dove at Mattison who posterized him by hurdling Riley to reach the end zone for the score.
Conley gave up a 5-yard catch on the Vikings 4th touchdown drive and was blocked on a 25-yard run on the following drive for a field goal.
Clelin Ferrell, Arden Key
This game was lost pretty early. The turning point play happened in the first quarter. Up 7-0, the Vikings were pushed back to their own 13-yard-line in third and 18. That’s usually a recipe for a punt. Cousins dropped back and threw the ball to Dalvin Cook on the screen. Ferrell was tossed aside as Cook broke past the first line of defense a few missed tackle later and he had picked up what appeared to be 16 yards, but was ruled 18 yards. The first down wouldn’t have held up after a challenge but in the process, Key had leapt in the air and smacked Cousins on the helmet and was flagged for roughing the passer. The screen yards plus the penalty equaled 33 yards. Most importantly it kept the drive alive.
That drive went from third and 18 from their own 13 to a touchdown and a 14-0 lead. It was a backbreaker and we were still early in the second quarter.
The next Vikings drive started at the Oakland 30 after Carr’s interception. The Vikings would end up in third and goal from the one-yard-line. They ran an end around to Adam Thielan and the man who had probably the only chance to blow it up was Ferrel. But he got no push and didn’t cut off the edge as Thielan took the hand off and scored to make it 21-0.
Down 28-7 late in the third, Ferrell whiffed on a stop at the line on a run that went for 25 yards. Agan, that was his play to make and he didn’t make it. They would go for a field goal to take a 31-7 lead on the first play of the fourth quarter.
As for Key, aside from that crucial roughing the passer penalty, he did basically nothing. He had no tackles (again) and no sacks. Just one QB hit to his name. There’s doing nothing and then there’s being utterly invisible.
The Raiders second possession was downright disgraceful for Miller. He gave up two run stuffs to bring up third and 5. Then he got murdered on an inside spin move by Everson Griffen who chased Carr out of the pocket and slide behind the line for a sack.
With just two plays on the Raiders’ next possession, it was literally foru plays later that Miller gave up another sack on Carr. This one was even easier than the first. He was pushed aside instantly by Griffen who shot in to sack Carr for a 7-yard loss.
The fourth quarter was for nothing but stats, but Miller was still terrible. He was flagged for holding on one play. And on the next play, he gave up the outside and if Carr hadn’t delivered the ball the instant he did, he would surely have been strip sacked.
Tahir Whitehead, Vontaze Burfict
Burfict was nursing seveal injuries in this game. He at least had an excuse for his issues. Whitehead has no such excuse. But since there are no excuses in Ballers & Busters, we hold them to the same standard.
The Vikings’ second scoring drive was a rough one for Burfict. He was out of position on a 10-yard scramble then two plays later miss a tackle on an 11-yard catch to put the Vikings in first and goal from the two. After being in on the stop short of the goal line, the next run Cook went right through him to reach over the goal line for the score.
Back on the field two plays later, Burfict missed a tackle on third and 2 to give up 12 yards. Then missed a tackle on a 5-yard run on first and goal. The next play Whitehead was out of position on a 4-yard run. They scored on the next play.
Whitehead gave up a 26-yard catch on the Vikings’ fourth touchdown drive. A couple plays later, Burfict missed yet another tackle on a 15-yard run. The next play Whitehead wasn’t able to cut off the edge to give up a 6-yard run. They scored a touchdown on the next play. And they weren’t coming back from a 28-7 deficit heading into the fourth quarter.