Oakland Raiders Film Room: BAL at OAK
By Evan Ball
The Winning Drive
There’s so much to get excited about regarding the final drive of the game. For starters, it’s simply amazing to see a team that believes it can win and executes accordingly. The drive was 8 plays for 80 yards in 2 minutes and 44 seconds. Derek Carr went 7 for 9 in the final drive – though he got away with a terrible would-be interception thanks to a defensive holding call. The game winning TD was amazing. It was as though you could feel all of Oakland collectively sigh relief and shed tears of joy. Let’s take a look at that last play.
Oakland once again lines up in 11 personnel with a 2×2 look. It’s 1st and 10 immediately following the near interception/defensive holding call in which Carr threw at Rivera on a seam route despite being covered. In true Baltimore fashion, they line up with some trickery, overloading the right side of the offensive line with four bodies at the line of scrimmage.
This should alert Derek Carr and Mychal Rivera to run a hot route, as he’s the nearest receiver on the potentially blitzing side. Middle linebacker Daryl Smith is also clearly aware of the hot route as evidenced by his drop.
Baltimore only ended up sending 3 after Carr, as the rest dropped into a 3-4-1 zone. Middle linebacker Daryl Smith immediately keys in on Rivera (despite Carr staring down WR Seth Roberts during his drop), vacating the center of the field for which he’s responsible. Slot cornerback Kyle Arrington passes off Roberts, expecting help in the middle, but there is none to be seen. Carr hits Roberts for the TD.
Also notice that safety Kendrick Lewis (top of image) turns his back to Roberts in order to focus on Cooper. This is a direct result of Cooper’s TD earlier in the game, and is a perfect example of how the presence of a super dangerous receiver on the field opens things up for everyone else.
This was an extremely well called offensive game, and a taste of what a balanced offense can look like for the Raiders. Derek Carr managed to throw passes to ten different offensive players. Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree each had over 100 yards receiving. Latavius Murray only had 65 yards rushing, but he averaged a respectable 4.3 yards per carry. It’s great to know that it’s at least possible for Oakland to win a near-shootout. I have hunch that as both sides of the ball continue to improve and mesh throughout the season, we’ll see even more from this promising young team. The best is yet to come.