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Film room: Amik Robertson has a career day against Giants

CB was all over the field against NYG

New York Giants v Las Vegas Raiders
Amik Robertson
Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images

There’s plenty to be excited about with the Las Vegas Raiders after their 30-6 Week 9 victory against the New York Giants and the play of cornerback Amik Robertson is certainly part of the excitement.

According to Pro Football Focus, Robertson was targeted a total of four times and allowed just two receptions for 17 yards. That alone would be a good outing, but he also managed to come down with his second interception of the year—tieing the team lead—and a pass breakup to record a 21.9 passer rating when targeted, fourth-lowest of any cornerback who was thrown at in Week 9 (pre-Monday Night Football).

The four-year veteran also recorded a forced fumble to earn the highest single-game PFF grade of his career, an elite 91.0 mark which led the Raiders’ defenders by more than 10 points and was fifth-best at his position over the weekend.

Robertson’s performance was truly special, so let’s relive it by diving into the tape.

So, I have to start with this clip, which is negative, because it set the stage well as Robertson has become known for making one mistake early in a game and then rebounding with a good performance.

The Raiders are playing Cover 3 and Jalin Hyatt runs a go route straight down the field. For some reason, Robertson seems to think Hyatt is running a curl or an out route and tries to jump it, leaving the receiver wide open down the field. Luckily an errant pass and Marcus Epps’ presence lead to an incompletion, so it goes all for not.

This play seemed to be the trigger for the 2019 fourth-round pick as he was lights out after it.

Robertson gets redemption on this rep.

Las Vegas runs Cover 3 again, only this time they’re getting a little more exotic with the look as Isaiah Pola-Moa starts as the single-high safety and Tre’von Moehrig is in the box pre-snap. But they essentially flip roles post-snap with Pola-Moa coming down and Moehrig dropping deep.

New York has a pretty good play-call for this defense as they run a Yankee concept with the post by the outside receiver at the top of the screen and a deep over from the receiver at the bottom of the screen.

That forces Marcus Peters, the corner at the bottom, and Moehrig to communicate and exchange where the safety “nails the crosser” by coming downhill and picking up the over route while the corner replaces the safety as the deep defender. The quarterback responds by trying to test Peters’ ability to cover ground and heaves it up to the receiver running the post.

Circling back to Robertson, he’s covering Hyatt again but does a much better job of staying on top of the route to prevent getting beat deep. That, plus high-pointing the ball in the air puts him in a perfect position to intercept the pass. On top of that, he tacks extra yards with a 40-yard return while making a couple of guys miss in the process.

Here, the Raiders run Cover 1 and Robertson is going to pass off the outside receiver, who runs a shallow drag route, to the low hole defender, linebacker Jaylon Smith (No. 15). Roberterson’s responsibility then turns to getting his eyes inside and picking up anyone who is working toward the sideline on his side of the field.

The Giants run a mesh concept with a couple of deep crossers which causes Moehrig to run into Nate Hobbs and Hobbs’ receiver, leaving Moehrig’s man wide open. However, Robertson picks up on that, changes direction and closes on the receiver. He does an excellent job of delivering a hit and playing the hands at the catch point, leading to a pass breakup and preventing the fourth-down conversion.

It’s late in the game in the clip above and the Raiders are just trying to prevent the big play at this point. They’re in Cover 3 again and the Giants hit Hyatt on a slant route. Playing that far off pre-snap, there isn’t much Robertson can do to prevent the completion, but he does a great job of closing after the catch and poking the ball out to force a fumble. Unfortunately, New York recovered but a nice play by the corner nonetheless.

We’ll wrap up with another nice close from Robetson in coverage.

The Raiders run a simulated pressure from a Cover 2 look this time, bringing Hobbs on the nickel blitz and dropping Malcolm Koonce into coverage. The Giants responded by sending two receivers deep and having one work to the flat at the top of the screen.

Meanwhile, Roberston is responsible for the right flat but stays deep to help discourage the quarterback from hitting the out route behind him. Once he sees the ball go to the receiver near the line of scrimmage, he closes and gets there about a step after the catch to limit this to a four-yard gain and pick up a defensive stop.