Oakland Raiders Poor Tackling on CJ Anderson TD Turning Point in Loss


For much of the first half on Sunday it was the Oakland Raiders defense taking the game to the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning, getting turnovers as well as stops to whip the Coliseum into a frenzy after a 10-6 lead. Even a Derek Carr interception at midfield couldn’t slow them down as the defense were about to stop C.J. Anderson on a backfield screen that the Raiders had covered extremely well on 3rd and 8 with multiple players in position to either tackle Anderson or push him out of bounds.

Then everything went to hell in incredible 2014 Oakland Raiders fashion.

Arm tackles (one from arm tackle enthusiast Miles Burris, of course) allowed Anderson to walk the sideline and cut across field for an improbable 51 yard touchdown. While it was a stroke of luck for the Broncos and Manning to go up 13-10 on the play, it was one the Raiders could only blame themselves for as they had ample opportunity to stop Anderson before he even gained a first down. To no surprise the Raiders defense looked back on the play at the end of the game as the one that prevented them from building on what was an outstanding first half as a whole.

From Jerry McDonald’s Inside Bay Area Column:

"A 51-yard touchdown pass on a screen to C.J. Anderson with 2:44 left in the first half put the Denver Broncos in the lead for the first time in a runaway 41-17 win over the Raiders on Sunday at O.co Coliseum.“After that play, man, I don’t know what it was, it kind of took the wind out of our sails,” defensive end Justin Tuck said. “We weren’t able to get it back.”Anderson, who played at Bethel High in Vallejo, Laney College and at Cal, initially broke a Miles Burris tackle 3 yards behind the line of scrimmage, then shed both Charles Woodson and Khalil Mack — the Raiders’ two best defenders.After getting the first down, Anderson cut across the field and scored standing up.“I wasn’t even in the middle of my route,” Anderson said. “That’s No. 18 (Manning) though. He wants you to be in a certain spot. Next time if I get there quicker, maybe I catch it cleaner.”Burris said he expected to make the tackle, but it was a matter of execution. Woodson, who had his worst game of the season, couldn’t shake it off, either.“There were a couple of missed tackles, mine included, which makes me feel like, ‘Man, I’m part of the play that really turned the game around,’ ” Woodson said. “That’s one I’ll be thinking about all night.”"

It is hard to look back on Anderson’s play, as well as the Sanders touchdown catch to end the half to go up 20-10, as turning points in a game that history will remember as a Manning romp over the Raiders even if they were because for the first half the Oakland defense were not only holding up but were frustrating Manning badly. As we all know the 20-10 lead got much bigger for Denver in the second half after the infamous Khalif Barnes fumble and the Raiders were headed to 0-9. It is going to hurt Raiders fans to ask “what if” when it comes to thinking how things could have been different if their team got the ball back up 10-6 in the end of the first half if Miles Burris made a sideline tackle on CJ Anderson, but the game’s biggest turning point had a drastic impact that helped lead to one of the more embarrassing losses in the currently sad state of affairs in Oakland.