Oakland Raiders Film Room: OAK at SD

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Carr’s Comfort Zone: The Short Pass

The scouting report on Derek Carr’s Raiders offense was fairly simple last season. Stop the short pass. That’s it. Carr spent last season throwing shorter than nearly every starting quarterback in the NFL. Season Two, not so much. Reggie McKenzie and Jack Del Rio worked hard to make sure that wouldn’t be the case this season. Enter Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper.

Now defenses are far more aware of the deep threat in Oakland and must adjust to keep a top on the defense. This opens up the underneath routes and allows for Carr to get into an early rhythm with the short game.

3rd and 9 and early into the First Quarter, Carr finds speedster Taiwan Jones for this quick pass across the middle which nets a solid 16 yards. San Diego played a ton of MAN coverage. And Oakland took advantage of the coverage at every opportunity. With an empty backfield and 11 personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WRs) against San Diego’s 4-2-5 Nickel sub-package.

The MAN coverage and deep safeties leave the entire middle of the field for Jones to utilize. With Jones’s speed, it’s not difficult to see how he could get a couple of steps on a linebacker. He picks up the rest of the yardage after the catch. The message? Respect the short pass.

Next: Working in the Run Game