Oakland Raiders Film Room: Week 12 (Chiefs)

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Oakland Gives Kansas City The D

Despite a few lapses in tackling and a huge blown coverage near the end of the 3rd quarter to give Kansas City their first TD, Oakland played generally strong and solid defense. They managed get pressure on the QB, penetrate into the backfield to stop runs, and force field goals with big plays in pass coverage. We’ve already seen a could of big plays by Charles Woodson, let’s look at a couple more that were huge.

Credit: NFL Game Rewind

Midway through the second quarter Kansas City was threatening to score with 3rd & 4 on the 5 yard line. From 21 personnel (2 RBs, 1 TE, 2 WRs) Kansas City motions RB De’Anthony Thomas out to form a bunch formation on the right side and runs the Snag Concept. Oakland lines up in the Big Nickel sub-package (3 DLs, 3 LBs, 2 CBs, 3 Safeties) and blitzes Charles Woodson leaving the rest to cover man to man with one safety over the top. After some initial confusion in assignments (bunch formations are specifically designed to do that) S Brandian Ross identifies the concept and breaks on Thomas running the snag/slant route. He makes a great play on the ball and forcing the incompletion and a field goal for Kansas City. Huge stop for Oakland.

Credit: NFL Game Rewind

Ah, the celebration sack. If the celebration wasn’t so obviously absent-minded it would have been a highlight of the game. 3rd and 6. 40 seconds to go in the game. Oakland runs a beautiful zone-blitz from their NASCAR big nickel subpackage (3 DLs Tuck and Smith moved inside, 3 LBs, 2 CBs, 3 Safeties). Kansas City runs a dagger-like (deep in route crossing behind an inside strreak/clearout route) concept on the three receiver side with a backside curl route from 11 personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WRs). Justin Tuck drops into coverage while Sio Moore blitzes from off the line. The key to this play is the combination of Antonio Smith and Khalil Mack. Smith break hard off the line then works inside while Mack nearly blasts past the tackle on the outside. Once Smith works inside LG Mike McGlynn immediately rushes to help out against Mack opening up a wide hole for Sio Moore to run through and attack Alex Smith. The result is a huge play that basically locked in the win for Oakland.

Week after week we’ve seen a team that’s clearly better than its winless record would imply fall agonizingly just short of victory. Though they made some mistakes the Raiders made the plays necessary to get the win in the big moments of the game. Though they haven’t been to the mountain top yet, or even top of small hills, this type of play is what fans can get excited about in the future as a team that’s better than its record still gets a great draft pick and improves even further. Screw it, let them celebrate – just this once. We should celebrate along with them.

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