Oakland Raiders Film Room: Week 3 (NE)
By Evan Ball
The TD That Never Was
Credit: NFL Game Rewind
Although a sketchy holding call negated this fourth quarter touchdown, it’s worth examining as it was an extremely well executed run play. Oakland utilized 20 personnel (2 RBs, 0 TEs, 3 WRs) to run a beautiful inside zone run (not to be confused with “zone read”) against New England’s goal line nickel (4 DLs, 2 LBs, 5 DBs) in man-free coverage (single high safety, man coverage underneath). The Oakland offensive line all steps left (right in the GIF) to make their blocks then move onto second level blocks from their double teams to remove the linebackers and New England safety Patrick Chung from the play. Chung’s responsibility is to cover the first RB out of the backfield to his side or provide run support if he reads the blocks. When left guard Gabe Jackson moves up to block Chung, Chung sees the hole open up inside and steps inside to fill the gap. Jackson does his job correctly and uses Chung’s own movement against him, pushing him further inside and trusting RB Darren McFadden to make the correct cut. McFadden makes the cut and “runs to daylight”. It’s only when Chung attempts a spin move to escape Jackson’s block that Jackson now appears out of position – but with his hand already on Chung’s chest at the beginning of the block the spin wraps it around and makes it look like a hold. There’s really nothing Jackson could have done to escape that. When they both trip over New England DL Vince Wilfork it looks as though Jackson grabbed him and threw him to the ground.
Oakland might not have gotten the victory in Week 3 but with the improvements in pass blocking, Carr’s decision making, and the pass rush against a solid New England team it was good showing for the still developing team. Hopefully the Oakland Raiders can build upon these improvements and add more in their London Week 4 matchup with Miami. With two young starting rookies in Carr and Mack playing better and better each week it’s looking like there might just some silver and black lining in the storm clouds we’ve seen so far this season.