Sunday, November 26, 2006

Oak at SD - Recap of Killer Plays

Oakland 14 - San Diego 21
In this game at San Diego, the Raiders were in position to tally a big upset victory. There were a few very pivotal plays that ultimately tipped the balance in San Diego's favor. Good teams like San Diego (9-2) find ways to win. A bad team like Oakland (2-9) finds new ways to lose.

I have boiled the 60:00 game down to the 1 killer play and the 5 mini-killer plays. I am convinced that if you take away the 1 killer play or if a combination of 2 of the mini-killer plays had a different result, this game would have swung in Oakland's direction.

Killer Play
Brooks' Interception
: The Raiders have the lead (14-7), the momentum (after Asomugha's interception), and the ball on San Diego's 25 yard line. On 3-15, Brooks throws a wobbly pass that is intercepted by Quinten Jammer and returned to the Oakland 48 yard line. This was a bad read, a bad throw, a bad decision by Brooks. It can be argued that if Brooks simply threw this pass out of bounds, then the Raiders were well within Sea-Bass FG range (42 yards). Instead of the Raiders going up by 2 scores (17-7) with only 13+ minutes left in the game, San Diego knots the score at 14-14 and most importantly seizes the momentum the Raiders had built up over 3 quarters of play.

Mini-Killer Plays:
- Missed Sea-Bass 36 yard FG on opening drive. The Raiders started the game off with a bang. Chris Carr returned the kickoff 41 yards setting up the Raiders offense in good field position. There was a good mix of run plays (Crockett, Fargas), short pass plays (Williams, Curry), and some effective scrambling by Brooks. This drive consumed 5:50 and the Raiders marched the ball inside the red zone (18 yard line). To come away with 0 points stung.

- Cromartie 91 yard kick-off return. This play happened immediately following Oakland's touchdown drive. The 7-0 lead evaporated in a matter of seconds.

- Dropped Interception by Asomugha. With the scored tied 7-7 and 11:49 left in the 2nd quarter, San Diego had the ball on their own 35 yard line. On 2-4, Rivers intended pass for TE Gates went right to Asmomugha. The ball literally hit him right between the numbers. Instead of the Raiders taking over at San Diego's 40 yard line on this easy iterception, Oakland takes over on a punt at their own 20 yard line. This was essentially a 40 yard swing in field position.

- "Illegal Forward Pass" play. This was a bizarre play and call. San Diego is down 14-7 facing a 4 down and 2 yards to go. Rivers hits WR Vincent Jackson on a 8 yard pass. Jackson wasn't touched by any Raider defender and when he got up he spun the ball forward in a celebratory move. The Raiders defenders alertly pounced on the ball. The official ruling on the field was that it wasn't a fumble but an illegal forward pass by Jackson. San Diego was moved back 5 yards from the spot of the reception which was a net of 3 yards. This 3 yard net gain gave San Diego a 1st down. This is one of those rules that skirts common sense. Since when is a receiver attempting a forward pass after a reception? Jackson has possession of the ball. He is standing up when he spins the ball forward which is in effect giving up possession of the ball. Ughhh. No explanation by the league office is going to make this ruling/rule make any sense to me.

- LT Run. With the score tied at 14-14, San Diego started the drive at their own 33 yard line. On the 1st snap of the possession, LT has a cut back run of 44 yards taking the ball to the Oakland 23 yard line. This led to San Diego taking their 1st lead of the day on a later LT 10 yard TD run.

Other Observations:
-TE/WR John Madsen had his best game of his career (3 receptions, 69 yards, 1 TD).

-The Raiders offensive line gave up 5 sacks for 26 yards lost. Without Brooks' scrambling ability and mobility, the Chargers could have had 10+ sacks.

- The Raiders defense bottled up San Diego for 3+ quarters. San Diego's only score in the 1st 3 quarters was set up by Cromartie's 91 yard kick off return.

Up Next: Houston Texans at Oakland


Anonymous tooz72 said...

Our boys played well enough to win against this incredible team led by the best runner in the league. The defense was really quite good despite obvious miscues. The problem remains the O-line. When the @#$%^ are they going to start protecting the QB! Brooks had to go shotgun just to have a chance. And what is it about the Raiders and crap calls. I had memories of the tuck rule ringing in my head on the forward pass call.

When I made the now unfortunately optimistic prediction of a 4-12 season, Houston was one of the 4. Let's go get it done and try to finish the season with dignity. As you note, there are individual bright spots emerging.

Someone told me yesterday that Al Davis may have a share of the General Partnership up for sale -- any take on that?

8:37 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Supposedly Al has a 31%, non-controlling interest up for sale but there have been no takers.

The "illegal forward pass" play is irrelevant if Brooks doesn't make that bonehead decision/INT to Jammer. I'm sure the conspiracy theorists will be in full swing but to me it is a non-issue. Take away the Brooks INT and the Raiders are fimrly in control of the game at 17-7 with 13:00 left in the game.

I'm taking my 10 year old nephew to his 1st Raiders game vs. the Texans. I would love to see us get a "W".

I like how they used Madsen to create favorable matchups and stretch the field.

10:15 PM  
Blogger ginmtb said...

I'm pretty certain that the pass Brooks threw was tipped at the line of scrimmage. No way he throws a pass that wobbly and that off the mark (unless his hand was cramping up again).

How about the boneheaded pass interference on Fabian - that pass would have been good for a 3 yard gain on 3rd and 8 from the SD30. But automatic first down and SD drove for the tying score. Would've been a 45yd. field goal attempt had that not happened.

And speaking of Fabian, what the heck was he thinking going to support the run on the halfback option pass?!!! There were at least three Raiders surrounding LT and no Chargers to block them... sheesh.

10:04 PM  
Blogger ginmtb said...

Oh and Madsen - he was wide open in the endzone when Brooks went down the middle incomplete. I mean WIDE OPEN!!! I can't remember what drive. I think the one before the half ended when they got close. I think there were at least two defenders on Moss. Come on, go through your check downs. Raiders QBs simply focus on one receiver, and if not open, either take the sack or run for their lives.

Oh and someone needs to teach Whitted how Charles Woodson used to tomahawk chop at a football when following from behind...

10:12 PM  
Blogger R-8-er Mike said...

hey CJ -
Have a great time at the game this weekend.... I think that we walk away with #3 finally! The team has improved every week (well, all but the o-line, which only improves when slaughter plays, and then but slightly)... and with the change-up with coaches, I think the team will be more fired up.
I think Walsh wasnt the greatest choice, but, I now somewhat agree with Shell, that Walsh wasn't really responsible for our offensive woes, he could have been service-able if WE HAD A DECENT OFFENSIVE LINE. I think its the offensive line coaches that were the weakest link. Look at the talent we have/had. And look at the experience these 'HOF' coaches have. Interesting idea ot have 2 great HOF coaches for the O-line, but it just didn't work out.
Go Raiders!

4:43 PM  

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