Oakland Raiders Film Room: Week 6 (SD)

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Credit: NFL Game Rewind

After safety Usama Young got beat a few times early in the first quarter by San Diego’s big tight ends Oakland adjusted by utilizing a “giant dime” defense. Popularized by the 2010 New York Giants, the giant dime replaces the typical 4th cornerback in a traditional dime defense with a 3rd safety. Similar to a “big nickel”, adding an extra safety instead of another corner better allows the defense to be prepared for defending the run (as safeties are generally bigger and better tacklers than corners) without excessively sacrificing the ability to defend against dangerous receivers in the pass game. When Oakland lined up in this defense safety Charles Woodson would step forward to cover a tight end while Usama Young and safety Brandian Ross played the traditional safety roles over the top.

It wasn’t able to help Oakland on this play as CB Carlos Rogers gets beat by San Diego WR Eddie Royal on the fade route. San Diego again uses stacked receivers in this play with 11 personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WRs). WR Keenan Allen and TE Antonio Gates run shallow crossers and WR Malcom Floyd runs a curl route. However, Rivers identifies the man defense (man-free, one safety over the top) and likes his chances with Eddie Royal on the bottom of the image. Keenan Allen fakes outside before he breaks in on his route, stalling Rogers just enough to force him to be out of position when Royal flows out from behind. Rivers looks off the safety during his three-step drop an throws a beautiful pass to Royal in the end zone. The only fault on this is that Rogers simply got beat. He knew he didn’t have safety help on the outside and should have made contact from his press position to give himself a better chance to stay with Royal.