Oakland Raiders Film Room: DEN at OAK

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The Big Punt

Finally, we come to one of the surprising highlights of the game. The big 61 yard punt from Marquette King was a fantastic play all around. It pushed Denver back deep into their territory, giving the defense plenty of room to stop Denver from scoring before the half – which would have given them momentum, the lead, and the ball going into the 3rd quarter.

The punt coverage team excelled in three stages immediately after King sent the pigskin screaming into the sky.

Stage 1. From the gunner position, Andre Holmes gets inside position on his blockers and is able to use his speed to get downfield and force the direction of the return man.

Stage 2. While Holmes forces the runner to the open side of the field the rest of the coverage spreads out to hold their lane integrity. They leave no room for a big return.

Stage 3. Rookie LB Neiron Ball makes the big open field tackle to pin the Broncos back to their 9 yard line. This was absolutely textbook. Big plays like this, especially in special teams, are what separate teams in close games.

The Oakland Raiders have seen improvement from their defense over the course of the season. The loss of Justin Tuck is going to be big for them, but at least it’s in an area of depth on their roster.

The offense has fallen behind the curve, largely due to weak play of the right side of the offensive line. When Howard and Webb were playing well we saw a completely different dynamic. Carr had time to actually throw the ball downfield, the run game was intact, and they were firing on all cylinders.

With tough defenses on the schedule ahead the Raiders will have much less margin for error with their offensive struggles. Hopefully the week off has given them time to adjust for their weaknesses and send them on a positive growth for the long stretch of the schedule.