Monday, September 19, 2011

Raiders D As Soft As Charmin

Raiders 35 - Bills 38

The Raiders 3 units played a solid, productive 1st half of team football in Buffalo. It was impressive to see the team get off to a good start especially considering the short week and cross country trip. The first 30:00 included very few penalties, breakdowns, and 3 consecutive TD drives to close the half up by 21-3.

Unfortunately, the Raiders defensive unit and in particular, Defensive Coordinator Chuck Bresnahan, failed miserably in the 2nd half allowing the Bills 5 TD drives in 5 possessions.

The tissue soft, prevent D orchestrated by Bresnahan and poorly executed by the defensive unit was simply inexcusable. Throughout the 2nd half, in spite of an 18 point lead, 11 point lead, 4 point lead, and again 4 point lead, the defensive unit couldn't make 1 single play to get off the field.

Here are a few areas that stick in my craw;

* The Bills' offense only success in the air was through a short passing game. Did Fitzpatrick even attempt a pass that traveled more than 25 yards in the air? The point being, if you have a commanding lead and know your opponent is executing short timing patterns then the simple adjustment is get aggressive (opposite of soft) with your coverage scheme, mix things up, and go for the knock out blow.

* The Bills go-to receiver was whoever was lined up against Chris Johnson. Stevie Johnson lit up CJ. Did Bresnahan slide a safety over to bracket CJ's man and provide extra support? Why was Breshahan allowing Stevie Johnson a 5+ yard cushion and free release when (a) CJ is better at tight man to man coverage and (b) the Bills are operating a short passing game. Makes no sense and defies logic. Jam the Bills WRs and move the safeties closer to the line of scrimmage and force Fitzpatrick to beat you deep with his pop gun arm.

* The Raiders D was vanilla and predictable in terms of a variety of schemes deployed. The predictability of the coverage schemes and inability to incorporate exotic blitz packages to alter the game's outcome is disheartening. Using a 4 man pass rushing front in obvious passing downs is playing to "not lose". It is double-ply, flowery toilet paper.

* It was a very poor day for the Raiders defense in regards to tackling especially in the open field. McClain, Giordano, and Branch whiffed for the day in this department.

* As the 2nd half unfolded and the Bills offense was clicking on all cylinders, all I could think was "Come on D ... someone make a play". There were numerous opportunities. 40 offensive plays run by the Bills. 0 game altering plays made by the D. 2 plays are hard to swallow.

* The first play occurred with the Raiders up by 28-24 and about 5 minutes left in the game. Safety Tyvon Branch had perfect coverage on TE Chandler in the end zone. He was in front of Chandler when Fitzpatrick threwthe ball right in his hands. Instead of securing the easy pick, Branch somehow allowed the ball to slip through his hand and into the waiting hands of Chandler.
TD Bills.

* The 2nd play occurred on the Bills last TD drive with the Raiders up 35-31. CB Chris Johnson had a golden opportunity to ice the game and go from a goat to a hero when Fitzpatrick threw the ball up for grabs in the corner of the end zone. Johnson caught the ball in the air but failed to secure it allowing the WR to strip him on the way down. Bills live to play another down and end up with the go ahead TD with :14 on the clock.

The shame is that the Raiders offense gave the Raiders countless opportunities to finish the game off but our D was nothing more than a COSTCO sized 24 pack of ultra soft Charmin. It is also unfortunate that rookie WR Denarius Moore's breakout game (5 receptions, 146 yards, 1 jaw dropping TD) is merely a side note due to the loss.

Up Next: A very difficult home opener vs. the 2-0 NY Jets. To say that the D owes the O in this game is to make the ultimate understatement. If Bresnahan doesn't cut the dogs of war on D loose, pass me the vomit bag.


Anonymous Tooz 72 said...

The commercial says "Don't squeeze the Charmin." I say take all the f'ing Charmin, make a pile of it, then soak it with gas and burn it. If there is one lesson we've learned in the last 10 years, it is that prevent defenses prevent one thing: wins. Great first half, perhaps something to build on.

I'm traveling this weekend, so had to toss the tix to my boy and his mates. His first game w/o dad riding shotgun. But at 19, maybe he's ready. Jets will be tough; I'd like the Raiders to be tough on both sides of the ball and stick it to them.

11:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I think you put too much blame on Bresnahan. He did not drop those two picks or miss all those tackles. I think it simply comes down to talent. Would blitzing have made a difference no the few times they did it worked against them.

Lets face facts the D-line is solid, the linebackers are okay and the secondary is so-so. The Raiders seem stacked on offense in terms of talent but aside from the d-line I just don't get that excited about anyone on defense. They sure miss Namdi because Chris Johnson looks awful.

Whats you opinion on McClain? To me he has looked terrible this year. He seems slow and does not posses the instincts of the great mlb like Lewis and Willis to know how to fill and get the d lined up correctly. To be honest with you I am shocked. I live in Miami so I get to watch a lot of SEC and when he was drafted I thought he was a blue chipper now I am seriously worried.

On a more positive note I think the Raiders finally have a solid LT after like what 25 years? Hue also seems like a quality coach and Moore looked like Randy Moss.

Florida Raider

5:35 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...


IMO, I don't think I put too much blame on Bresnahan. The blame goes to individual defenders, the unit itself, and the guy in charge of the unit.

It is a combination of Bresnahan failing to make in-game adjustments in real time and the players failing to execute (tackling, dropped INTs, inopportune penalties, blown coverages etc.).

As I mentioned on RT's blog, watching the 2nd half (5 TDs in 5 possessions) was the equivalent of watching a 30:00 car wreck in slow-mo. The Raiders defensive unit had countless opportunities to make a play to get off the field. 40 offensive plays by the Bills ... 0 defensive, game changing plays by the Raiders.

Bresnahan showed little creativity, aggression, and common sense to change the outcome. Playing soft pass coverage w/a cushion against a short passing offensive is just plain stupid. Take away the cushion, play tight M2M coverage, move the safeties up, and FORCE the Bills to go deep.

As far as McClain, he looked ok in the 1st half but seemed a step slow and out of gas in the 2nd half. I thought he did fairly well in pass coverage, poor in tackling, and didn't have any dynamic plays. C- material at best.

10:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris Johnson was the problem he gave up like 80 plus yards in catches and committed 2 or 3 penalties he is not a starting nfl corner back. The lack of a solid starter opposite Routt will be why the Raiders go 8-8 again

5:00 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

True ... Chris Johnson had a horrible game and we definitely miss Nnamdi.

However, when a CB is getting torched, the coaching staff can
(a) slide a safety over to help bracket/double his WR

(b) take him out of the game for a play, a series, or the game.

(c) change the coverage scheme to adjust to what the opponent is doing successfully.

DC Bresnahan should have put CJ in tight man to man coverage with a safety behind him. Instead, CJ was giving the Bills WRs too big a cushion to get a free release and execute the short passing game.

6:44 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

CJ - Nice photo. Too bad it accurately depicts our defense last Sunday.

Bresnahan failed in Cinny and has been out of the NFL for a couple years. That's not the resume of a top flight defensive coordinator. He is old school Raiders and that's why he's here.

His claim to fame is DC of a defense that played with league MVP Rich Gannon on offense.

Bresnahan is playing Al Davis's defense. It's a defense that plays one way (as publicly stated by Bresnahan and numerous Raider defenders, past and present).

There are no situational adjustments. They merely try to execute. When that fails, they fail, as they did Sunday.

One-way defense. It either works or it doesn't.

This is where we get to see if Hue Jackson has any say on defense. Jackson doesn't appear to be someone that wouldn't change when a situation (i.e., repeated bad performances) warrants it.

I believe he is being hamstrung by Davis to start DHB and, so far, has little say on defense.

It's time for the head coach to step up.

8:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nyraider come on man are you really blaming Al Davis for the Raiders giving up 5 tds in a row? How about the fact our mlb, and one of our cbs sucked ass last game

if you want to blame Davis for something blame him for letting Namdi go which was shocking given how much Al values the cb spot

Shogun Mike

7:54 PM  
Blogger x said...

I hate to pile on McClain, but he better not have any more games like last week or else the bust talk is going to get louder. He looked absolutely horrible and the dropped int was the icing on the cake. Maybe Tatupu is a better option at MLB after all.

The Nnamdi loss still irks me. If Davis puts so much importance on shut down corners, why didn't he make a play to keep him? It appears he tried to get Cromartie, but because the Raiders have been so bad for so long, he stayed in NY (Davis' own fault).

9:57 PM  

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