Oakland Raiders Week 12 Primer: Free Fall

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Nov 19, 2015; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) celebrates a touchdown in the third quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

Taking on Tennessee

The Raiders have to scrap whatever they think they were doing the last two weeks on offense. This run first, small ball approach is an utter disaster. Offensively, the Raiders are a juggernaut, they simply need to be allowed to do what they do best. Firstly, allow Carr to audible out of plays or give him a second play to call at the line especially if there are 8 men in the box against a run. Due to the predictability of the playcalling, there were several instances where the Lions came out with 8 men in the box and the Raiders lost yards early. Running the ball for the Raiders is something they do best with natural space opening up. These offensive lineman perform well in space and block downfield best.

Secondly, Bill Musgrave needs to advance the route concepts. For some reason, the Raiders have allowed the route concepts to simplify and become mundane. There were too many instances of isolation routes that were nullified by cover 2 man look coverages. Crossing routes, halfback angle routes, deep posts, corner routes, and double moves have been nearly inexistent in this offense the last two weeks. However, when the Raider offense has been at its best, these route concepts were regular contributors to the overall play calling sheet.

Thirdly and most importantly, the Raiders need to use Clive Walford more. Oakland has an athletic monster that can line up all over any formation and wreak absolute havoc on any defense and he is woefully underused. Clive should be getting at least 7 targets a game and with his ability to haul in receptions, he could easily cash in on 5 of those. What is most impressive about Walford is his athleticism. He is a long strider and a vertical nightmare. By utilizing him on posts or corner routes, he will be able to block out defenders and make safe catches in traffic. Being huge also insulates him from big hits.

Of course, it goes without saying that Bill Musgrave needs to do more to get the ball in Cooper’s hands. He should be utilized on more movement based routes that get him into space such as crossing routes, deep digs, and post routes. The lack of double moves this season from Cooper is also a bizarre phenomenon. At Alabama, Cooper made a name for himself with his ability to run vertical routes. Hitch and go, out and up they should all be regular weapons in his repertoire, but sadly we do not see these routes.

Next: Week 12 Primer: Mariota and a Pass Rush