Oakland Raiders Film Room: Bye Week Recap

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Charles Woodson

Though he has made some mistakes, safety Charles Woodson has been a massive help to the Oakland defensive problems in the middle. His team leading 24 solo tackles and 5 assists have shown exactly how crucial his play has been to Oakland. Though he’s shown a bit of a tendency to bite on play-action in attempts to stuff the run his coverage has generally be very solid – a huge help considering the underwhelming play of veteran corners Carlos Rogers and Tarell Brown. A team leader if there ever was one, Charles Woodson has shown that age doesn’t have to slow down smart players. Hopefully some of that football IQ can transfer over to some of these younger guys as they attempt to grow throughout the season.

Credit: NFL Game Rewind

Week 1 sees New York come out in 20 personnel (2 RBs, 0 TEs, 2 WRs) against the Raiders’ Cover 3 nickel package. Jets WR Eric Decker runs a 12 yard curl route right into Woodson’s zone. QB Geno Smith does a half hearted look off during his three step drop but immediately locks on to Decker as he plants his back foot. Woodson’s eyes are on Geno Smith the whole way and he breaks on the pass as soon as he sees Smith turn toward Decker at the peak of the drop. It’s hard to believe that Smith didn’t see Woodson considering he would have been the thing that crosses Smith’s vision before seeing Decker but he throws it anyway. Woodson starts the year with an amazing interception.

Credit: NFL Game Rewind

Oakland brings out their nickel sub package (3 DLs, 3 LBs, 5 DBs) versus Miami’s 11 personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WRs) blitzing all linebackers and S Charles Woodson with man-free coverage (one deep safety, man coverage underneath). Miami runs a hi-lo levels route on the right side (bottom of image) with a 9 route on the left. With the linebackers all blitzing the middle of the field is immediately wide open and WR Jarvis Landry breaks early to the gap in coverage. CB Carlos Rogers (playing in the slot) bites hard on the play-action and ends up way behind Landry in coverage, leaving no one to challenge the pass. S Usama Young sees the pass from his deep zone and breaks on the play but takes a poor angle and finds his tackle attempt whiffing. If Woodson doesn’t read play action so quickly and come back to make this tackle it’s very possible this play ends up as six points for Miami.

Final Words

While clearly Oakland suffers from a lot of miscommunication and injury issues they have shown that they can perform well when things are properly clicking. Sio Moore should be back to help out the weakened linebackers. Mental errors can be eliminated or reduced. Play calling can improve. Young guys will get better at these things. There’s no telling what Oakland will look like in Week 6 with a tough matchup against a very power San Diego offense, but it seems that Tony Sparano might at least be on the right track when he says it’s time to “take a look at how Oakland is beating Oakland“.