We break down 5 more of the 2017 Raiders’ most explosive plays. Remember, for the purposes of this series we will define an explosive play as any play that gains at least 25 yards. Let’s take a look.
Play 6: “Richard Gets Richer”
Play 6) This one again comes Week 2 and goes for 52 yd TD. Toss right to Richard from shotgun. Newhouse just barley seals edge for Richard to cut upfield. Double team on DE + pancake from Hudson + Penn on the hustle along with some vision from Richard leads to TD #JalenRichard pic.twitter.com/aYwAxPUDtr
— Chase Bugas (@RaidersUnsung) February 26, 2018
This play comes in Week 2 vs the Jets and goes for a 52-yard touchdown on a variation of the Pin and Pull concept. From the shotgun, Carr tosses to Richard on the strong side. The right guard and tight end double-team the defensive end at the spot Oakland is trying to attack. The right tackle must pull out and seal off an aggressive defensive back in order for this play to work. Hudson also pulls from center and knocks a defender off his feet, enabling Richard to have a clear path as he cuts upfield.
Meanwhile, on the backside of this toss, Donald Penn is going to cover tons of ground as he rides his linebacker down to the other side of the field. His block also helps seal off the safety, meaning Penn essentially helps take two defenders out of this play. The great blocking combined with Richard’s vision helps lead to an explosive touchdown.
Play 7: “Bombs Away”
Play 7) This one is simple. Well executed route combo between Holton/Walford leaves Holton wide. Holton bends inside Walford's out-route and gets ample room to get back outside/past the safety. Holton's speed is undeniable. 64 yds. #Touchdown #Raiders #Holton pic.twitter.com/Kn8In542Wb
— Chase Bugas (@RaidersUnsung) February 27, 2018
Holton gets in on the explosive action in Week 4 at Denver with a 64 yard touchdown. The right side of the defense is lined up in man coverage, with one deep safety behind them. It is the left side of the defense that the Raiders are able to defeat. The left side is playing zone versus Walford and Holton’s combo. The Raiders are able to pick on the two-deep safeties who are splitting the deep quarters on their left side.
Walford’s out-route is able to pull the outside corner down to cover the tight end. Meanwhile, Holton bends his deep route inside of Walford’s break, leaving himself plenty of space to work back to the to the outside and past the safety. With the outside defensive back coming down on the out-route, the inside safety is left with too much room to defend. Holton shows off his motor and blows right by the defender for the longest play of the season up until this point.
Play 8: “Cook in the Seam”
Play 8) This one comes from Manuel in Week4 and goes for 29 yds to @JaredCook89 from the slot. Perfect Cover-3 beater with the inside seam, built to find the soft spot between deep zones. Reggie paid Cook last offseason so we could get plays like this from our TE #Raiders pic.twitter.com/TCffc1Tvda
— Chase Bugas (@RaidersUnsung) February 28, 2018
This is the first explosive pass that doesn’t come off the arm of Derek Carr. This 29-yard pass to Jared Cook comes from E.J. Manuel late in week 4. Cook runs an inside seam vs the Broncos’ Cover 3 look. The inside seam is perfect for attacking Cover 3, as it fits right between the outside corner and the center-field safety’s coverage. The only player for Denver who could have ruined this play is the linebacker playing underneath the seam. He is held underneath by the running back, however.
Play 9: “Broken-Play Heroics”
9th Explosive Play of 2017: 41 yard TD pass in week five to Crabtree. Raiders want hold Right Corner's attention with Cook but he is pressed and slowed down. Corner backs up to take away intended target. Broken play lets @KingCrab15 get open, Manuel finds him #Touchdown #Raiders pic.twitter.com/bGcfbyySPA
— Chase Bugas (@RaidersUnsung) March 2, 2018
Our next explosive play comes in Week 5, at home against Baltimore. This is the lone game that Manuel started at quarterback.
The play starts off of a play-action pass, designed to pull the linebackers up near the line. Oakland wants to hit Cooper from the slot, who is coming across the field from right to left on a deep crossing route. The Raiders are hoping that Cook can release downfield from the left side tight end spot, in order to pull the corner in to match with him. This would create an opportunity for a big play in the same gap that the Raiders attacked in “Explosive Play 8” vs Cover 3.
The Broncos are able to press Cook right off of the snap, however, so he never really grabs the corner’s attention. Instead the corner is able to find Coop coming, and drop deep to cut off the intended target. Once Manuel sees that he can’t pull the trigger, he is forced to step up into the pocket and avoid the outside pressure from his right. This is when it officially becomes a broken play.
It is a broken play because each receiver has now reached the end of their route, and the quarterback has now had to adjust on the fly and begin moving in a different direction. Over on the far right side of the field, Crabtree has finished his route and is standing behind the corner matched up against him. The corner is squared to the quarterback, with his back to the receiver. This allows Crabtree to break deep for the end zone and get a jump on the corner. Manuel finds him and hits #15 for a 41-yard TD pass.
Play 10: “Untouchable”
10th Explosive Play of 2017: Jet Sweep to Patterson. Cook leads way on outside. Fake to Lynch is supposed to pull edge defender in. Penn can't get to second level in time. 2 unblocked edge defenders still can't contain Patterson though. 47 yd TD run #Raiders #Speed #Easy pic.twitter.com/99PO9p4moY
— Chase Bugas (@RaidersUnsung) March 4, 2018
Our final explosive play of the week comes at home against the Chargers on a Jet Sweep to Patterson. The Raiders begin the play as though they are going to run downhill with Lynch to the right side. However Patterson is in motion heading across the field in the other direction and he takes the handoff.
Cook is the lead blocker on the outside, and he takes the safety out of the play. The Raiders plan to leave one edge defender on the play-side unblocked, hoping the misdirection of the handoff will pull him in enough for Patterson to get around. Penn’s first step goes to the inside to help double with Osemele, before trying to get to the second level. He is unable to get to his intended linebacker, thus leaving two edge defenders unblocked on the play-side. Patterson is unfazed though as he is able to get around untouched and weave his way through traffic as he would a kick return.
Stay tuned for more explosive action as we continue to pillage our way through the 2017 season. For more updates and highlights follow Chase Bugas on Twitter.
Written By: Chase Bugas