Dec 15, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders cheerleaders perform during a timeout against the Kansas City Chiefs in the fourth quarter at Coliseum. The Chiefs defeated the Raiders 56-31. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Back to the Bay With Rory Anderson: Week 16

Back to the Bay with Rory Anderson is a weekly column from Just Blog Baby Podcast cohost Rory Anderson. For more of Rory’s Raiders analysis tune into the Just Blog Baby Podcast each and every week on 

Here I am sitting in section 136 row 25 seat 8 next to my beautiful wife who bought the tickets as a Christmas present for me. We are decked out in our Raiders garb for the one time this season we could afford to make our yearly trip to our football mecca. Living almost three hours away makes it very difficult to make the trip on a regular basis. It takes a tank of gas, buying three meals, not to mention seven dollar beers. With all that being said, my wife and I got to watch a game in which the Raiders lost 56-34. I honestly considered leaving in the second quarter but I have never left a game early and I refuse to start now.

I even had the opportunity to meet the infamous Dr. Death who sought me out after seeing I was at the game via twitter. The Doctor and I have been on each other’s podcast, debated topics on Twitter, and I signed his petition to save Oakland sports. Many times we tend to agree on things or at least are in the same ball park, but we have vehemently disagreed on what to do about head coach Dennis Allen and when Doctor Death came by he told me if the Raiders won that comeback he would start supporting Dennis Allen’s staying as head coach. Just as we shook on it the Raiders scored another touchdown bringing the Chiefs lead down to four points. Sadly, we all know how the rest of the game went.

Last week I addressed the Dennis Allen discussion and my mind has not changed mostly because I was mentally prepared for this exact situation going into the season. I came into this season hopeful for six wins, but I was fully prepared to see as few as three or four. Because I have addressed the head coaching situation I will not go back into it in depth this week, but I will say that my two main points regarding why this “collapse” isn’t the fault of Dennis Allen still hold.

Firstly, this team was not unprepared, it was beat physically. I will show in this week’s screen shots the fact that the Raiders saw the screens coming in most instances, but it was the lack of execution by the players that caused the collapse. Secondly, the loss of DJ Hayden is real and I do not know how much more needs to happen before people start seeing it. With Phillip Adams in the game the Raiders cannot blitz and be as aggressive as they were with Hayden in the game. I don’t care if you do not like DJ Hayden, what I am saying is fact. Because they cannot blitz with Adams they cannot produce a pass rush which means the defense instead gets shredded apart just as it did last season.

Want some statistical proof? With a healthy DJ Hayden for seven games through week eight, the Raiders gave up 23 points per game. After the Eagles game when DJ Hayden got injured on the first Riley Cooper touchdown the Raiders were giving up 26 points per game. Since then the Raiders are giving up 33 points per game. You can be a doubting Thomas all you want, but those are the facts. The loss of DJ Hayden has caused this defense to crumble and did you notice that the Chiefs ran all of their screens to one side? And guess whose side it was. Phillip Adams.

Film Breakdown 

You cannot tell me this football team wasn’t prepared by its coaches to take on a screen. They clearly saw it coming; it was simply a failure to get the job done.

This screams busted coverage. It looks like Porter is in man coverage and then he inexplicably sits in a hook zone of some sort.

How do you beat a blitz? You run a screen. Tarver is in a no win situation. Everyone complained he didn’t blitz enough lately, so he does and he still gets beat.


Here are some screen shots from the McGloin interceptions:

He is Favre reborn! Seriously though, he makes some great throws and absolutely stunningly bad ones.


Amazing play by the linebacker. Here is some good McGloin screen captures:


This throw was absolutely pin point accurate.



What is Going On?

I have tried to answer this question for the last few weeks, but I feel like I finally have a real answer and frankly some of you aren’t going to like it based on the reaction I have received from people on Twitter. Some people flail to try to convince themselves that an intangible, unmeasurable claim is some culprit for the Raiders defensive woes. They like to point at Dennis Allen and say he isn’t a leader or he does not make adjustments or he isn’t preparing the team, but according to the players and everyone in the building those claims simply aren’t true. More importantly, how can someone from the outside make the judgment whether or not any of those claims are true without taking the word of those who are around Dennis Allen? Simply put, it is impossible for me to be objective about Dennis Allen on those terms.

In response to that conundrum I instead sought after statistics and tangible facts. In the first 7 games when the Raiders had a healthy DJ Hayden the team was a top 12 defense, was among the league leaders in sack and hurries, and only gave up 23 points per game. Once DJ Hayden got hurt on the first Riley Cooper touchdown versus the Eagles the defense has not been the same. After that game the Raiders averaged 26 points per game and in the last 6 games the Raiders have given up 33 points per game.

I already know the response and the fact is DJ gets a bum rap for one game where he gave three touchdowns although on the first touchdown he had perfect coverage, but got injured, then was hung out to dry by Charles Woodson on the second touchdown, and was beat by one of the fastest wide receivers in the NFL on the third touchdown. Besides that he made basic rookie mistakes. Both Revis and Petersen struggled mightily in their rookie seasons so I expect him to struggle. He was out on many teams number one wide receivers and many times was in one on one coverage.

What people forget is he was the first rookie cornerback to force two turnovers, was a great tackler against the run, and did fairly well against the screen unless it was Demaryius Thomas running it. This is the only statistical correlation I can find with the performance of the defense. Since DJ Hayden went down, this defense is less aggressive because Adams cannot keep receivers in front of him consistently. In turn, sacks have diminished immensely because Tarver is trying to compensate with the lack of Hayden when in nickel which means less blitzing, but that still isn’t working. During the Chiefs game, every screen went to Adams’ side. They attacked him directly because he is a weak tackler and took horrific angles. Go through my other columns since the Hayden injury and see how bad Adams has been. The Raiders couldn’t produce a pass rush when they needed to against the Cowboys or Titans not to mention terrible tackling to go with it. I am not saying Hayden is a pro bowl player, I am saying that his loss massively impacts this defense and the stats prove it.

Offseason Lookahead: Week 16

I am finished talking about Dennis Allen and whether or not he should be fired or not. My readers and the podcast listeners know how I feel and rather than do that discussion again I want to paint another off season scenario. This scenario is going to upset some people I am sure, but not all the things we want as Raider Nation can happen.

Firstly we will look toward resignings and any name I leave off means they aren’t resigned:
Jared Veldheer: 5 years 35 million, 15 million guaranteed
Vance Walker: 3 years 10.5 million, 6 million guaranteed
Tracy Porter: 4 years 12 million, 7 million guaranteed
Rashard Jennings: 2 years 4 million
Matt McCants: 2 years 1 million dollars
Charles Woodson: 1 year 1.5 million
Jason Hunter: 1 year 1 million
Usama Young: 2 years 3 million
Total: 8 players, 20.5 million dollars

For this scenario I am working on the assumption that he goes to another team who are willing to overpay him. Frankly I would not give him a contract over 5 million per year unless it is highly incentive laden.

New Signings:

Brian De La Puente, C: 4 years 20 million, 10 million guaranteed
Arthur Jones, DT/DE: 3 years 12 million, 4 million guaranteed
Josh Freeman, QB: 2 years 5 million
Michael Bennett, DE/DT: 4 years 24 million
Jason Worilds, OLB/Leo/DE: 4 years 20 million, 10 million guaranteed
Walter Thurmond, CB: 4 years 16 million, 10 million guaranteed
Total: 6 players, 26.5 million dollars

Signings Total: 14 players, 46.5 million dollars

Let us add to this what we have done with the mock draft and the Raiders would add Clowney or Barr to DE/OLB/Leo (the standing end position Lamarr Houston plays is Leo), Aaron Donald to DT, and Deone Buchanan to FS. For completion sake I will project the rest of the Raiders draft picks and I will project the Raiders get a 3rd round and 5th round compensatory pick for argument’s sake:
3rd comp: AJ McCarron QB Bama
4th: Donte Moncreif WR Ole Miss
5th comp: Zach Fulton OG Tenn
6th: Raijun Neal RB Tenn
7th: Devan Drane CB Cincy
7th: AJ Tarpley LB Stan
Total: 9 players, approx. 9 million

Players on Roster: 36 players, 49.1 million dollars

Grand Total: 59 players, 105.1 million dollars with 9.9 million in dead cap space

From here some moves would of course need to be made. Those would have to be figured out based on competition, but at least at this point the Raiders are in good financial standing, have starting talent, depth, and even a decent flux of practice squad players. Here the Raiders would be set up nicely moving forward and would meet the salary floor while not over extending themselves. They could then operate the way they want moving forward without focusing on free agency.

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