What happened to that explosive offense that the Chargers had no hope of stopping in week 7? The offense has shown flashes of it in the weeks since, but they just haven’t put it together. In the Raiders second meeting with the Chargers, the offense performed when it mattered but for most of the game they were maddeningly self-destructive.
The Chargers were intent on brining pressure from all over the place and even though they only ended the game with 3 sacks, their pressures caused multiple false starts and holding penalties that hampered drives. When Carr did have time to pass, he made a few bad reads on third downs.
This play was on third down. The Chargers blitzed Melvin Ingram against the Raiders man protection. The rookie right guard, Jon Feliciano, is responsible for blocking Ingram and simply gets beat because of a technical flaw. On this play, 3 receivers get open and Seth Robert’s defender even fell down. But alas, one man fails and the entire team fails.
The Raider’s had some success running the ball with a pin and pull outside zone scheme from under center. You can read more about the concept in the Inside the Pylon Glossary, which I have contributed to.
Key blocks are made by Hudson who has to reach the defensive tackle and Feliciano who has to cut off the play side inside linebacker. Olawale also does a nice job of being patient and looking inside for a block and throws another key block on the weak side linebacker who is scrapping over. The play was wonderfully executed by the entire team and led to a 22 yard touchdown. However, the Raiders are unable to sustain their success running the ball in the second half.
Carr has been making some great reads and audibles in the red zone. Last Week, Carr audibled into a QB sneak on a critical third down. On this play, the Raiders have a run play called. It is suppose to be an inside zone to the right. However, Carr sees a 1 on 1 match up with Crabtree and likes the match up. He makes a check to Crabtree. While the rest of the offense is running inside zone right, Crabtree runs the fade. Carr takes a one step drop and throws a beautifully placed ball for what would be the touchdown that forced overtime.
If they can’t stop it, call it twice!
In over time, the Raiders called the same play on the same drive in critical situations to set up the game-winning field goal. Andre Homes (top of the screen) and Michael Crabtree (bottom of the screen) run deep outs and Seth Roberts (slot) runs a dig route.
The Chargers seem to be running Liz coverage, which is a single high man/zone combo but the linebackers and secondary look confused and keep their eyes on Carr. They lose track of the three wide receivers and Carr could had his pick of any of them. He chooses to throw to Andre Holmes who makes a great grab for a critical first down.
This was a third and 15 play. Musgraves calls the same play, but probably let Carr know that Roberts was wide open the last time he called it. However, the Chargers come out in a different defense. They are in a Cover 1, which usually has a robber in the middle of the field who would help cover Robert’s dig route. Instead, the linebacker that would have been the robber blitzes and leaves a huge void in the middle. Robert’s gets a great inside release, and breaks open with exceptional route running. Carr throws an absolute dime to Roberts who could have caught it without the bobble. The rest of the play is pure will and effort by Roberts.
The defense carried them to this win but the offense had to finish and they performed when it mattered most. Although, the offense did not make measurable strides against the Chargers, they grew in the area of intangibles, which is an area that all great teams thrive in.
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