Oakland Raiders Week 10 Primer: Purple People Eater Beaters

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Nov 8, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) runs on a fifty-nine yard pass reception as Oakland Raiders free safety Charles Woodson (24) defends during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 38-35. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Charles Woodson Effect

Charles Woodson is having a very impressive season. He has quickly become a turnover machine in the defensive backfield for the Raiders. However, he has done his best work when in a two deep safety defense or against an offense that is limited in it’s deep ball abilities. Whether it is slow receivers that he can ensure do not beat him deep, or a quarterback without a powerful arm such as Peyton Manning, Charles is able to use his wits and instincts to make the play. Against the Steelers who have both a quarterback with a cannon for an arm and several very fast receivers, there is simply no way for Woodson to be nearly as effective in single high safety coverages.

Ultimately the problem the Raiders had against the Steelers was a lack of healthy safeties that can cover. Asante is a nice player, but he is a better box safety than he is a free safety. Having Nate Allen back, we should see the Raiders play much more two high safeties and with Carrie also available, Ken Norton Jr. can get creative with how he deploys the three players.

Next: Week 10 Primer: Understand Ken Norton Jr.