Oakland Raiders Film Room: Bye Week Recap

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Derek Carr and the Oakland Passing Attack

Oakland’s passing attack has suffered from an extremely frustrating amount of variance. On a few occasions it’s looked very efficient. Most other times it’s looked like half the team doesn’t agree on what play is called. Though the pass blocking has been about middle of the league, the actual passing offense hasn’t managed to get middle of the league scoring or yardage out of it. Dropped passes, inaccurate throws, and a general collapse of offense when facing pass rush pressure have combined to keep Oakland’s passing attack near the bottom of the league. Marcel Reece is still underutilized. Carr still throws much better to his right than to the middle or left parts of the field. Rod Streater is sorely missed. Additionally, for whatever reason they can’t get a proper running back screen together to save their lives.

Credit: NFL Game Rewind

In this Week 2 play against Houston, Oakland uses 21 personnel (2 RBs, 1 TE, 2 WRs) and a four verticals concept (4 receivers running deep down the field) against Houston’s 3-4 defense (3 defensive linemen, 4 LBs, 4 DBs) with Cover 3 and a blitz by Texans strong safety D.J. Swearinger. On paper, this should be a beautiful play. The two inside routes should be able to attack the seams, exploiting the deep zone between the free safety in the middle and the corners in the deep outside zones. Carr does a good job at first looking to the right during his drop back and drawing the free safety to that side. However,Raiders TE Mychal Rivera (#81) gets too much of an outside break then stems even further outside before making his cut to the middle of the field, crowding that side of the field and allowing Texans CB Kareem Johnson to cover both deep threats on his side. Carr throws the ball and it’s a fairly easy interception for Johnson, playing perfect technique over the top. If Rivera stemmed to the wide open middle of the field earlier it would have put a much better stretch on CB Johnson’s zone, making an interception much more difficult to accomplish.

Credit: NFL Game Rewind

During the London game opening drive we see Carr doing what he does best – throwing to the right. Oakland brings out their 11 personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WRs) with a stacked receiver look on the right side of the formation lined up in a reduced split (inside of the numbers). WR James Jones motions into the formation and runs a levels concept (two in breaking routes creating a hi-lo read for Carr) on the left side with TE Mychal Rivera. On the right side, new Oakland receiver Vincent Brown runs an out route with Andre Holmes running the 9/clear-out route both crossing each other upon release. Miami is in their nickel sub-package (3 DLs, 3 LBs, 5 DBs) with a disguised man-free coverage (single safety over the top, man coverage underneath) and sends a two wave blitz at Oakland. While looking to disguise the cornerback blitz, Miami safety Jimmy Wilson starts the play with a huge cushion over Vincent Brown which combined with the hesitation from the crossing receivers puts him slightly out of position to break on the out route after Brown makes his cut. Carr throws a solid pass and gets the ball to Brown before Wilson can make up the ground for a first down.