Oakland Raiders Film Room: BAL at OAK

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AC/DC Comes Alive

One of the funniest little things this season is how much everyone talked about Amari Cooper being immune to pressure. He has nerves of steel, he’s ready for the NFL. Then he came out and looked nervous. Even in the beginning of the game against Baltimore, Cooper looked nervous, dropping his first two passes. Luckily for Cooper and Raider Nation, some of the nerves have been shaken off.

What an amazing call from Musgrave. Plays like this are exactly why I like Amari Cooper in the X receiver role for Oakland. He’s way too good against man-to-man coverage. Baltimore seeks to intimidate Derek Carr on this 3rd and 8 play in the first quarter by stacking the box with bodies. Seven defenders in the front of the box and even the safety only five yards off the line of scrimmage are designed to force Derek Carr into a panicked adjustment or throw. Crabtree’s motion catches the attention of Baltimore safety, Kendrick Lewis, right before the snap.

Baltimore actually sends 6 rushers after Derek Carr while Lewis immediately bails to coverage, eyes on Crabtree and Rivera. CB Jimmy Smith doesn’t have a chance against Cooper. He gets beaten off the line and then bites on the hard inside step from Cooper before the outside break. With safety Kendrick Lewis focused on the Crabtree-Rivera route combination there’s no help for Lewis, and Cooper turns on those afterburners all the scouts said he didn’t have to get his first six points in the NFL. Big credit to Derek Carr for making that pass despite getting creamed immediately after.

I cannot stress enough how important this play was to the game. Not only was it a big relief for Cooper and a stagnant Raiders offense looking to do something useful in a real NFL game, but it gave the Raiders something they haven’t had since Randy Moss – a legitimate deep threat. From that point forward Baltimore had to respect the possibility of the deep ball, which stretched the field and opened up holes in mid and short range.

Next: Laser Beam to Andre Holmes