Oakland Raiders Film Room: Week 13 (Rams)

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Can’t Hold on 3rd Down

Credit: NFL Game Rewind

With about 4 minutes left to go in the first quarter Oakland has and opportunity to kill the St. Louis drive on this 3rd & 8 play.  St. Louis brings out their 10 personnel (1 RB, 0 TEs, 4 WRs) and runs a concept not all that dissimilar from the Y-sail concept seen in Air Raid offenses every Saturday. Oakland brings out their Giant Dime sub-package (3 DLs, 1 LB, 3 CBs, 3 Safeties – Woodson playing at linebacker distance), running a pattern-recognition 2-man defense.

This one is entirely on Charles Woodson. Everyone else is covered well except WR Stedman Bailey running the stick/zig route. Woodson break on the pass in time to make the stop and force the 4th down, but instead over-pursues and blows the open field tackle. The resulting first down puts St. Louis in position to get their third TD of the quarter, basically locking in their dominance from that point forward. Just like the offense needs to convert on 3rd and short, the defense needs to be able to hold on 3rd and long if this teams wants to have a chance at winning games.

While this was clearly the worst the Raiders have played all season some of the problems of the game have been long standing. With a physical game coming up against San Francisco this week Oakland can’t afford to make these mistakes so consistently. Luckily, San Francisco has been exhibiting major offensive problems of their own, so perhaps there’s a chance that Oakland can keep it competitive.