Oakland Raiders Film Room: Week 14 (49ers)

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If there’s anything that mostly hasn’t fallen apart in San Francisco it’s their defense. Notably, their pass rush has actually gotten better over the course of the season with the rise of LB Aaron Lynch and the return of LB Aldon Smith. Still, Oakland’s offensive line played exceptionally well against the pass rush. They allowed only 10 pressures on 30 drop backs and often were able to reestablish some protection after the initial collapse. This protection gave QB Derek Carr all the time he needed to patiently find the open receiver, or direct a receiver to get open, and made for some truly incredible 3rd down conversions.

On 3rd and 9 in the early 2nd quarter Oakland is looking to sustain the drive and close the 7-3 score gap. Carr finds his target in a 20 yard completion to WR Vincent Brown for the first down. Pay attention to the offensive line. Even without the help of TE Mychal Rivera and RB Latavius Murry (releasing to the flats) they are able to give Carr the time he needs to throw against the double stunt – a technique they’ve had difficulties against this season. Watch both sides of the line, specifically Gs Gabe Jackson and Austin Howard. They make the initial contact with the rushing defensive ends, recognize the stunts, and pass the defensive ends outside as they pick up the crossing linebackers. This is some the the best blocking they’ve exhibited all season versus stunts.

On this 3rd quarter play Oakland continues to give Carr time to throw even after the initial crack in the pocket, this time against a five man rush. Oakland utilizes 7 man pass protection here, including the two running backs, and earns a huge 27 yard completion with only 2 receivers running routes against SIX defenders in coverage. While the right side of the line faces nothing exotic, the left side of the line sees another stunt. Aldon Smith is picked up by Gabe Jackson, but DT Tony Jerod-Eddie (#63) is able to push T Donald Penn back on his heels. RB Darren McFadden comes in to help and continues driving on his block, getting Jerod-Eddie out of the way and allowing Carr the time to direct Rivera back into the gap in the defense for the big gain.