Oakland Raiders Film Room: OAK at CHI

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Lofton is Lost… Again.

One of the typical reasons behind bringing in veterans to a team is to have a presence that can utilize their experience to always be composed on the field, and know exactly where to be at all times. We see this with other defensive veterans such as Charles Woodson and Justin Tuck. These old guys might not have the pure athletic ability they always had, but they know how to read offenses and use their technique to get in position to make the play.

So far, Curtis Lofton is just not one of these guys. As the “quarterback of the defense” Lofton is expected to make sure everyone else is in proper position and knows their assignments. Yet over and over again we’ve seen Lofton look like the one who is lost on the field, blowing coverage assignments, and playing a defensive scheme that no one else on the field is playing.

Inside the ten yard line, Chicago runs a simple smash concept on the left side with two tight ends and a running back. They just motioned into this formation, with Charles Woodson following his man into the slot on the right side and Malcolm Smith switching with Aldon Smith – indicating a man-free coverage (1 deep safety, man coverage underneath).

However, when the ball is snapped Lofton is the only one playing zone. Malcolm Smith dashes to cover the his assignment (RB in the flat), CB David Amerson takes the hitch route on the outside receiver, and… Curtis Lofton passes off his man to help Amerson??

When Lofton bounces back to cover the short route he leaves Martellus Bennett wide open in the back of the endzone. Cutler couldn’t have an easier pass. As a veteran player, Lofton has immensely disappointed in his passing game. He’s given up several touchdowns on broken coverages and an insanely high 148.2 QB rating (per ProFootballFocus.com, subscription required) when throwing into his coverage. For the Raiders to take that next step, he has to step up his game.

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