The Raiders offense finally had a let down game. Unfortunately, it came on the biggest game of the season thus far. The run game was inconsistent and the Raiders were too reliant on the passing game in a rainy game in which the field conditions were terrible. Carr’s control of the ball in rainy games is better than most quarterbacks but it is still a lot to ask for a quarterback to throw the ball 34 times in those conditions.
One player that did not struggle in the rain was Amari Cooper. Although the stats may not reflect it, Cooper gave Marcus Peters fits last year. Peters simply does not have the long speed to run with Cooper, so the Chiefs put him on Crabtree and matched up Steven Nelson on Cooper. The results was a dominate game by Cooper, who finished with 129 yards receiving. A lot of those yards came on simple curl routes.
Cooper’s short and quick steps helped him to take sudden cuts even in the rain. The chiefs played a lot of man coverage. Their corners were afraid of getting beat deep and they could not stop as suddenly as Cooper, leading to many easy connections for Cooper and Carr.
The Raiders looked like they might dominate the Chiefs after they scored a touchdown on the opening possession and forced he Chiefs to go three and out right after. On the first play of the Raiders second possession, Crabtree got open on a beautiful double move that had cornerback, Marcus Peters, turned around.
Crabtree breaks down and Peters, who is always aggressive, gets ready to jump the route, but Crabtree gets behind him. However, Carr gets pressured and instead of stepping up and resetting his feet, Carr throws off his back foot and while he might get away with it in better weather, the ball sails and is easily intercepted. Although Carr has improved his pocket maneuvering this season, he clearly has to work on that aspect of his game.
Know the Situation!
In addition to pocket maneuvering, Carr has to be more aware of the situation. Carr had a clear lane to run for a first down, but chose to wait and throw a contested pass to Deandre Washington on a critical third and three.
There was a similar situation against the Ravens in which Carr should have ran but didn’t. Carr has the ability to be a threat with his legs and although he isn’t going to be the next Michael Vick, he has to start taking advantage of some of the wide open lanes that are opening up in front of him.
Another Fourth Down Gamble
The Raiders got away with a big gamble against the Chargers by throwing a fade to Crabtree on a fourth and two against the Chargers for a touchdown, but this time their over aggression came back to bite them in the rear end.
The play was designed to get the ball to Seth Roberts running a hitch and go. It is a good call against an aggressive Chiefs defense, but the defense was in 2-man. It is very difficult to throw deep against 2-man because there are two safeties deep while defenders play man underneath. The weakness of two man is the short to intermediate middle of the field. Carr should have known this and went to Crabtree running a dig into the middle of the field instead of taking a chance throwing to Roberts especially with a wet ball.
Chiefs Second Half Adjustment
Carr said, “They changed their coverages up, they did in the second half… We could see it, we knew what they were doing.” The Chiefs went from playling Cover 0 or single-high coverage on 19 of 21 passing plays in the first half to playing a 2-high coverage 17 of 20 pass plays in the second half.
Single High Coverage usually means cover 1 or cover 3.
Two-High Coverage usually means cover 2 or 2-man or cover 6 (combo coverage)
The Chiefs were concerned with giving their corners help with two deep safeties in the second half and it worked. Two deep safeties meant that there was less people in the box and the Raiders ran the ball well in the second half averaging 5.8 yards a carrie in the second half. However, they couldn’t covert on third and short/ medium situations.
On this play, the Chiefs are playing 2-man once again. The Raiders are running a shallow cross concept with Cooper running a drag and Roberts running a dig behind him. It’s third and five so Carr understandably wants to go to Cooper running a drag underneath. However, the Chiefs are only rushing three and fortunately drop Tamba Hali right into where Cooper ran his drag route. It was would have been very hard to see Hali and in retrospect, Carr should have went to his second progression and hit Roberts.
As Coach Del Rio said, this is just one game and the Raiders have to move on. It was just wasn’t their game on either side of the ball. Carr had an off-day in the rain and right now, the team just isn’t good enough to overcome that. This group has shown they have the ability to work hard and learn and Raider Nation should expect a bounce-back effort against the Jaguars.