Oakland Raiders Week 9 Primer: Immaculate Destruction

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Nov 1, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; An Oakland Raiders cheerleader from the Raiderettes performs during a timeout against the New York Jets in the third quarter at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Jets 34-20. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

It seems every week I start off my column with a different level of astonishment. 4-3. The Oakland Raiders through seven games have four wins, and only three losses. Let that sink in. Many people accuse me of being a homer and being too optimistic. I will own that. However, not even I would have expected these sorts of results.

Head coach Jack Del Rio has used the mantra of “one game at a time” all season and the next opponent is another with a long history against the Raiders. It is time to see the Immaculate Reception replaced with an immaculate destruction.

Jets Get an Oakland Style Beat Down

The Raiders are beginning to create a distinct identity and that includes starting the game off with a bang. What the Raiders are truly exceptional at, is putting the defense on it’s heels early and often. Coming into this game, the Jets were lauded as a top defense in the NFL. It is a blitz heavy defense that relies on the three cornerbacks to dominate in coverage in order to create coverage sacks, if the blitzes cannot confuse the offensive line. Todd Bowles’ defense is one that tends to dictate the pace of the game to the offense, but in this game a sleeveless Derek Carr punched the Jets’ defense square in the nose.

In order to slow down this blitz heavy defense, the Raiders started the game with an aggressive aerial attack. The very first play on offense for the Raiders, they showed how little they care about the name value of Darelle Revis. Carr took to the air on a deep double move by Cooper working against Revis, and although he threw the ball out of bounds, Cooper showed that he was already more than Revis could handle by beating Revis to the ball by at least two steps.

Throughout the game the Raiders only went to Cooper, who was followed by Revis, five times completing four of them. Some people took this lack of production as some sort of dominance by Revis against the rookie. That could not be more far from the truth.

Cooper on a regular basis made Revis look bad. He created nearly five yards of separation on a bland comeback route. Clearly, Revis noticed the talent of Cooper early and he gave him an abundance of respect. The only reason why Cooper did not rack up more yards against Revis was due to the simple fact that Crabtree was humiliating Antonio Cromartie play after play.

On top of Crabtree’s stellar performance was the sudden reemergence of Andre Holmes. In typical Holmes fashion, he reappeared for one heck of a performance including making a brilliant reception on a fade style route from Derek Carr. The beauty of the play was Carr’s presnap brilliance. He recognized early that the Jets were bringing a double blitz from the middle and weakside.

After the snap he took a quick two-step drop and delivered the ball to a spot in the back of the endzone. Holmes actually spotted the ball at its peak and had to take two long strides to nab it. That throw was the perfect example of a quarterback throwing a receiver open.

Next: Week 9 Primer: A Defense to Reckon With