Oakland Raiders Film Room: BAL at OAK

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Sep 20, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) celebrates after the Raiders defeated the Baltimore Ravens 37-33 at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Week 2 against Baltimore was a cathartic one for Raider Nation. After what seems like a decade long rebuild, we finally got a taste of what may be progress toward excellence in Oakland’s victory Sunday afternoon. It wasn’t always pretty but it was damn exciting.

Last week, Oakland’s offense looked terrible. The right side of the offensive line couldn’t block anyone to save their lives, AC/DC never quite took off, the team ran a ton of screens, with zero deep threat for the defense to respect, to poor results. Defense was even worse. Containment issues, terrible coverage across the field, and major communication issues made the Raider defense play more like a leaky sieve.

This week was much different. Oakland has a offense to be reckoned with. Carr found chemistry with his receivers – ALL of them. Being able to throw all over the field, deep to short & sideline to sideline, dramatically opened up the offense and forced holes all over the Baltimore defense for Oakland to exploit. As you’ll see coming up, the success of early Oakland offense helped to force Baltimore defensive adjustments which were taken advantage of later in the game.

The defense still has trouble, a lot of trouble, but they could have been worse. Khalil Mack, a pressure beast in the preseason, is still having difficulty finding the QB – though to be fair he’s getting double teamed extremely often. Oakland’s secondary is still making young mistakes, and they’re getting nearly ZERO help from veterans Curtis Lofton and Malcolm Smith at linebacker, as those two are consistently blowing tackles and finding themselves out of position.

Still, two of the most exciting moments of the game were watching the sheer joy and camaraderie of the players when Derek Carr threw that final TD and Neiko Thorpe sealed the game with the final interception.

This week’s play selection is far from the doom and gloom of last week. This week we’ll discuss some of the plays I’ll expect Oakland’s defense to remedy over the course of the season, along with some of the more successful plays of the Oakland offense.

Next: Defensive communication issues... again