Oakland Raiders Film Room: Week 8 (CLE)
By Evan Ball
Run blocking has been a major problem for this offense. Whether zone run, power run, or screens, the blocking has been severely lacking, leaving McFadden and Jones-Drew with little to work with. Lots of the blame can rest on the offensive line’s lack of chemistry, but a substantial portion also goes to poor blocking from the receivers and tight ends. Without major threats in the receiving corps Oakland needs to improve their run game to stand a chance at keeping defenses honest against them.
Credit: NFL Game Rewind
Oakland does a power run (non-play side guard pulls and line blocks down) with counter action (McFadden intentionally fakes right before going left) on this 2nd and 3 play in the third quarter using 11 personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WRs). Cleveland uses their nickel package (3 DLs, 3 LBs, 5 DBs) with a 1-high look and safety Donte Whitner comes down into the box for run support. Firstly, many defensive players are taught to look at the line to read the run. This line so obviously blocks like a power run left, it’s unclear why counter action is called in the first place. Secondly, both TE Mychal Rivera and WR Kenbrell Thompkins completely blow their blocks. Rivera gets easily tossed aside by Cleveland LB Barkevious Mingo, and Thompkins decides to avoid blocking both Mingo and CB Joe Haden leaving McFadden completely helpless against two defenders. This poor blocking is all to common with the Oakland offense and this time leads to a three yard loss and sets up a tough 3rd down.