Oakland Raiders Week 8 Primer: Jets Come Crashing In
Oct 25, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; (Editors note: Caption correction) Oakland Raider wide receiver Amari Cooper (89) runs for a touchdown after making a second quarter catch as San Diego Chargers defensive end Corey Liuget (94) and cornerback Jason Verrett (22) give chase at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
It is becoming abundantly clear that the Raiders are a pass first offense. This offense went through Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree. They set the tone and were the chain movers. More importantly, they created space for the running backs by stretching the field both vertically and horizontally.
On a per game basis, the Raiders do not consistently test defenses with deep passes, but against the Chargers they attacked downfield at the weak points of the defense. Amari Cooper made a phenomenal leaping grab between two defenders, and rookie tight end Clive Walford made two solid catches on vertical routes.
On Walford’s touchdown reception, he was running a wheel route behind what was a borderline pick route by Holmes. After passing Holmes, he immediately turned upfield and was in a great situation to make a play against a smaller defender. The safety had no chance because Carr delivered a perfect pass.
What makes all of this possible is the pass blocking ability of the Raider’s offensive line. They consistently succeed against most pass rushers. Only teams with a pair of exceptional pass rushers have been able to get pressure against this line with four rushers. The Chargers lack any real pass rush threat and the Raiders were able to exploit that. Most importantly, teams that need to blitz to pressure Carr are exploited on the back end by the accurate throws Carr makes in conjunction with the athleticism of the receivers he is targeting.
Next: Week 8 Primer: Taking on the Jets