Oakland Raiders Film Room: BAL at OAK

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Defensive Communication Issues

This one is going to feel a little familiar. Flacco’s touchdown pass at the end of the first quarter came from a tricky formation utilizing an offensive linemen split out wide like a wide receiver. In the pre-snap activity, the Raiders defense saw the three receiver alignment at the top of the image and shifted toward it to compensate. Most notably, Oakland middle linebacker Curtis Lofton moved toward the three receiver side of the formation from the center of the field.

Although they appropriately covered only the actual receivers on the top of the image, they failed to acknowledge that offensive lineman Marshall Yanda is covered up by TE Maxx Williams (both lined up on the line of scrimmage) – making TE Crockett Gillmore an eligible receiver on the opposite side of the field. Gillmore runs an easy seam route for the TD while Lofton plays catch up, recognizing the TE too late to be effective. It’s difficult to be too harsh on players for falling for trickery, but this is the exact reason you bring veterans into a young defense – to help with play recognition and skills derived from experience. Lofton should be able to keep track of these things.

Next: Cover 2 Woes