Oakland Raiders Film Room: Bye Week Recap

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Khalil Mack

Oakland really couldn’t have asked more from their star rookie LB. Despite still having zero sacks on the season Khalil Mack has been a force to be reckoned with on a team in desperate need of some forces. He’s been an absolute monster in the run game and generally solid on defense overall earning 18 tackles and 5 assists in the first four games of the season. In the pass rush he’s shown the ability to blow by guys with his speed when given the opportunity but has some trouble muscling past blocks to get to the quarterback. Regardless, when he finally does get the first legitimate sack the roars from Oakland will echo nationwide. If there’s anything to safely rest Raider Nation hopes and dreams on it’s Khalil Mack.

Credit: NFL Game Rewind

Against New England Khalil Mack exhibits a very impressive display of speed on this pass attempt by in the third quarter. Against New England’s 11 personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WR) Oakland moves DE Justin Tuck inside and surrounds him with versatile DL pass rusher Antonio Smith on the right and DE Benson Mayowa on the left. LBs Miles Burris and Khalil Mack also position themselves on the line of scrimmage to rush the QB. In the secondary Oakland has 3 safeties and 3 cornerbacks to combine with the defensive line for a NASCAR/dime-like hybrid defense in man-free coverage (one deep safety and man coverage underneath). Khalil Mack lined up in a wide-9 technique (nearly two yards outside the nearest offensive linemen) looks like an absolute stud as be blows by New England left tackle Nate Solider for the big hit on Brady.

Defense Cracks in the Middle

The major weakness of the Oakland defense so far in the season has been the middle of the field. Injuries have ravaged the Raiders linebackers. Promising young linebacker Sio Moore has missed two games so far. Nick Roach is now on IR and has been replaced. Even backup linebacker Kaluka Maiava has been placed on IR – leaving the Raiders in the hands of backup Miles Burris and now incoming linebacker Jamar Chaney. If Oakland wants a shot at getting some wins, solidifying the center core of this defense is one of the first places they should start.

Credit: NFL Game Rewind

In Week 1 the Jets run a simple trap play to the strong side of the formation against Oakland’s nickel defense. Oakland’s D-line is shifted to the right in the image and linebackers are shifted to the left similar to an “over” front. With this shift in place, inside linebacker Miles Burris has A and C gap responsibilities and should be able to plug up any hole on that side of the line fairly quickly. At the snap Jets RG Willie Colon blocks down on Raiders DE Antonio Smith freeing up DT Stacy McGee to dash in, only to get hit by the pulling guard’s trap block. LB Miles Burris can’t shake Jets RT Breno Giacomini’s block and RB Chris Johnson quickly dances his way to the second level before he’s tackled by FS Charles Woodson for a quick 8 yard gain.

Credit: NFL Game Rewind

Oakland uses a nickel sub package (2 DL, 4 LB, 5 DBs) in 2-man coverage (2 deep safeties, man coverage underneath) while blitzing LB Miles Burris on this play against Miami. Miami’s uses 12 personnel (1 RB, 2 TEs, 2 WRs) in a zone read run play. Miami WE Brandon Gibson motions across and behind the formation forcing CBs T.J. Carrie and Carlos Rodgers to switch responsibilities as Rogers runs across the formation to follow Gibson. It takes Carrie a second to realize that TE Dion Sims is his new responsibility as he hurries to play catch up with Sims cuts across the formation for the backside block. Carrie is so unaware of what’s going on that he runs right in front of ballcarrier Daniel Thomas as he runs through the hole – a rookie mistake if there ever was one. With Burris out of position due to blitz it’s up to S Usama Young to make the tackle and stop the play. He makes the tackle but not before a huge gain. These are the types of plays that made Dennis Allen look really bad. There’s really no excuse for players to not understand their assignments or be that unaware of the play.