Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Petition to Prevent The Prevent

Note: Please forward this petition to all of your Raider Nation friends, and ask them to forward it to the organization. The Raiders are in the grip of an unknown force that prompts them to enact the prevent defense while the rest of us watch helplessly, knowing the outcome in advance, like a bad movie we've seen way too many times. The new coaching staff may be unaware of this force, and it is our duty to alert them. Awareness may be the only way to build resistance...


To: Dennis Allen, Jason Tarver, Reggie McKenzie

Cc: Mark Davis, Raider Nation

Gentleman, please accept this humble petition to prevent the prevent defense, which only seems to prevent the Raiders from winning. 

It happened again on Sunday. Since you've only been with the Raiders for less than a year, you might simply view this as a mere incident. 

But let me assure, it's not an incident, it's a plague upon the Raiders franchise. The Raider Nation has seen it countless times over the past 15 years, spanning countless coaching regimes. 

It's like a nightmare on infinite loop. The Raiders get a late lead or tie, then go soft and lose the game after giving up ungodly chunks of yardage in the span of mere seconds.

If we can just hold them...Don't screw it up now...Back off but contain...

Next thing you know, you've given up 50 yards in 40 seconds. Do you realize that, with an average time of possession of 30 minutes per game, an offense would gain more than 1,500 yards per game at that rate of yardage consumption? Why, at any time, would you employ a scheme that allows that rate of yardage consumption? Why would you start throwing curveballs in the ninth inning when they've been missing your fastball? WHY!?

The other team is trying to score throughout the game, not just in the final minutes. So why change the approach that got you the lead or the tie in the first place? Why go suddenly soft?

If you are going to lose by employing the prevent (and you are), then you have nothing to lose by not employing it. 

Also, don't count on the other team missing that last-second long field goal after you've "contained" them by giving up 50 yards in 40 seconds. Why? Because the other team never misses those kicks against the Raiders. Never

Remember 12 years ago, when Adam Vinatieri smoked a 45-yard field goal through wind and sleet to take the game into overtime, then kicked another field goal to win, eliminating the Raiders from the playoffs? Or last Sunday, when Matt Bryant nailed that 55-yarder? It always happens, no matter the distance and conditions.  

You are powerless to stop this late field goal phenomenon. It is unique to the Raiders, and it is very real.

So your power lies in preventing the prevent, and in trying a different way to stop the other team to keep it out of field goal or scoring position. 

After all, what have you got to lose?

It may be tough to resist the prevent. I suspect that there's some weird universal force that is controlling the minds of all Raiders coaches in this situation. It's the only explanation for so many coaches, and so many coordinators, over so many years, doing the same thing every time in these situations, and expecting a different result from the last time.

The Return to Glory will not be paved by the prevent. To paraphrase the great Al Davis: "We don't take what they give. We take what we want."


Anonymous JONES said...

When the other team is throwing out a 5 WR set, you can't lineup in a 4-3 and blitz, that is called suicide. They spread the field so you have to spread with them, you keep them underneath and try to MAKE A PLAY TO GET THE DEFENSE OFF THE FIELD. YOU PLAY THE ODDS.

Would you rather man to man coverage with Jones blowing by a Corner for a TD? They came up one play short, it happens. At least you didn't see all 11 drop back into coverage and still get burned for 20 yrds, right? Atl has potent Rec's, a top QB, they just squeeked it out....bottom line is progress, that's all we can ask for at this point. Bitching about the #1 O getting the ball to a 55 yrd FG try, seems kind of lame.

Just as lame as those who blame the HC because he tried to 'freeze' the kicker. They didn't win, they weren't expected to come close, they had them on the ropes and it slipped away, shit happens, just learn from it = progress.


4:58 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

Oh, the quote from Mr.Davis....he said it when explaining his Offensive philosophy.


5:07 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Outstanding, RT! This needs to be read and heard and practiced.

When the game is on the line, it's time to turn up the heat, not turn it down; to tighten the screws, not loosen them.

I wouldn't call this a growing pain for the coaching staff. It's a complete failure to recognize the basic principles that have existed over time.

It's like trying to pour water up.

If the Raiders have ever won a game in which they employed prevent defense, it wasn't because of the prevent... it was in spite of it.

One of the most epic failures of the prevent came a few years ago in Buffalo, a game which I had the complete displeasure of attending. Bills fans, who had completely given up, watched in total amazement as the Raiders folded like a wet napkin. It was all too deja vu for me.

5:09 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Jones. I'd rather get burned being aggressive. At least then I'd know I tried.

Giving Ryan time to study the field, after he struggled to do so most of the day, makes zero sense. They're not going run the ball, so man up and bring everybody else.

Can you remember a game in which prevent defense worked?

5:14 PM  
Anonymous gary said...

That's awesome RT! Love it.

The prevent does work, but only with a caveat... WHEN YOU HAVE A LEAD OF 9 OR MORE POINTS!

And leaving their HOF TE completely uncovered in a lazy zone is even more ridiculous than the prevent. How hard is it to cover the main receivers M2M regardless of the prevent or not?

I was amazed someone didn't ask Cork in his chat if anyone is going to ask Tarver for explanations of the prevent.

And now for some good news:

The average power ranking of the teams left on the schedule last week was 20.66.

Now that Atl drops off the schedule, and many teams moved down, it is now 23.72.

I doubt there are many teams in the NFL with a lower ranking of teams left.

There should be lots of wins left on this schedule! Can Allen get this underachieving herd of losers to just WIN for a change?

5:27 PM  
Anonymous gary said...

Can you remember a game in which prevent defense worked?

The last time we had a lead of 9 points or more with less than 3 minutes left, I'd guess.

5:29 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

Being aggressive, or being dumb? Yes, bring an extra rusher in one of the Downs, but you can't go after a QB with 5/6 men while they are in a 5 WR set, a top QB who would hit the hot route that could easily turn into 6 or a big play for a chipshot FG.

What you need is for the players to make a play. Wheeler almost did on Gonzales, if he made that play, this isn't being talked about. The #1 O, top 5 QB, allstar WR's & TE, they are going to make plays when they are spread across the field, just the way it is. They just happened to make all of them, they made some plays and then their FG kicker hits from 55....it happens, it isn't a curse, it isn't an act of God.

It looked like the Raiders were dogmeat after the humiliating loss to Denver. They came back and played an almost perfect road game to beat the #1 team in their own park. They didn't win, but it at least gives us and the team hope that maybe they aren't just dogmeat. Maybe that's why you might have seen a little relief on the HC in his PC? He thought the team could easily tank on him, they didn't, it probably renewed some faith he had in these players. It did to me, but, I know their history, their 'bad habits' and wouldn't be surprised to see them pop up this or next week. IF, they can continue what they did on Sunday, bring it on, it's miles away from where they were in Denver. PROGRESS, we saw it in leaps and bounds last Sunday, I ain't complaining.


5:47 PM  
Anonymous gary said...

JONES said...

Being aggressive, or being dumb? Yes, bring an extra rusher in one of the Downs, but you can't go after a QB with 5/6 men while they are in a 5 WR set, a top QB who would hit the hot route that could easily turn into 6 or a big play for a chipshot FG.


I agree you don't blitz every play.

A good staff would have hot reads on defense with players having the green light in certain situations.

Hopefully this is being addressed.

What I don't like is NEVER blitzing which is what Raider teams has done with the game on the line for 15 years. I think RT could attest to this too.

How hard is THAT for an OC to game-plan for? It just made the 2 minute drill 1000 times easier in practice.

"Ok, the Raiders never blitz so lets just work on these plays."

6:04 PM  
Anonymous gary said...

What you need is for the players to make a play. Wheeler almost did on Gonzales, if he made that play, this isn't being talked about.

I almost appeared that Wheeler stumbled. I get to watch the "coaches film" tomorrow and will get a great look at it.

The play before bugs me more... leaving Gonzalez wide open beyond the sticks ON THE SIDELINES is crazy stupid. Someone should have hell to pay!

At least force them to throw down the middle to burn the time out.

6:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The Raiders rushed 3 men while in a prevent D.

They Rushed 4 for 59 minutes and 20 seconds. It seemed to be working.

Jones said...

I am presuming under your philosophy, a db or linebacker is going to make an interception or deflection so the wide reciever doesnt catch the ball.

Why not rush 4 putting more immediate pressure on Ryan and giving him less time to find any open reciever, thereby increasing the chance that Ryan does make a bad throw?

Or how about a sack? Isnt that a play?

By installing a three man rush, The pass rush dried up. As for me, I would have rather had 4 rushing putting pressure on Ryan.


6:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


JONES said...
you can't lineup in a 4-3 and blitz

The Raiders played nickel the majority of the game


6:16 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

Scar, A Nickel still has 4 down linemen, just a DB subbing for a LB, same scheme, whatever. Either way you can't bring 5/6 guys when they have a spread set with the talent they have. Raiders rolled the dice, going with just 3. Why couldn't one of the 3 man rush make a play? I have seen many players from other teams actually sack or flush the QB when in a 3 man "prevent'. It can be done, also, plays by a LB or DB in coverage can be done as well, is it the coaches fault that they play soft? Or is it the players who lose a little something in those situations?

If the Giants 3 man 'prevent' was on the field instead of the Raiders, what outcome do you see? Do you see a player/s step up and make a play? Or do you see them giving up plays? Game is on the line, the coach can't go out and make the plays, the players have to find a way, they didn't, hope they learn, progress, it's all that can be asked.


6:45 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Nice one, RT. You've got to stop making so much damn sense!

From the previous take,

NYR said,

"Just my opinion, but if you compare Allen's post-game PC reactions after blow-out losses compared to last Sunday's nail biter, he has different body language and overall demeanor. I’m not saying he’s happy about the loss, but I see more acceptance than previous losses."

NYR, I watched the PC and you are way off base. Watch it again and tell me that Allen in body language, demeanor, or verbally was remotely pleased with the loss.

He made it crytal clear in numerous ways that (paraphrasing) "this is a results oriented business", "that at the end of the day it was a disappointing loss", "that the team has a lot to work on", etc.

Now if you asking whether or not a coach will have a different demeanor, body language, or comments going from a disappointing blow out loss to a spirited, competitve game where his men left it all on the field, yes, of course.

If anything, my take on the PC was that DA was slowly simmering and VERY upset, frustrated and disappointed in the result but remained professional for the PC and get through it staying on message which is that the Raiders need to continue to work hard, improve, and focus to impact the final result in a positive way.

7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Just rewatched the last drive.

Raiders rushed 4 except the last two plays where they rushed three.
Raiders blitzed once.

two linebackers did play soft, i.e. ten yards behind linemen on last drive instead of usual 3-6 yards behind linemen.

DB's played soft. Maybe there is where screws can be tightened?

I guess at some point credit should be given to Ryan for driving the Falcons...

Progress was made,,,lets hope it carries over to the rest of the season.


7:08 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

The Raiders had a lot of success with the nickel D vs. Atlanta.

The nickel D, while rushing 4 down lineman, was tailor made for Atlanta's last possession.

It didn't make sense to rush 3 and it didn't make sense to rush 5. 4 was the obvious, magical # of rushers. 7 defenders covering and 4 defenders creating pressure.

7:16 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

Well there you go, SCAR. Just shows these agenda pushers won't even get the facts straight in their complaints...if some are going to bitch and moan, at least have the facts about what you are bitching and moaning about happening in the game. Here I was arguing their point that never even happened? Are there any real football guys out there? Or are most fans basically guessing?

SCAR, you are right, at some point you do give Ryan credit, you do give them their props for pulling it off with a 55 yrd FG. It happens, just get better from the experience and move on, hopefully.


7:22 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

I agree Jack, NYR is into painting some pictures lately, he seems to have an axe to grind with the new coaches. I think he wants Hue back.


7:25 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Yeah, and those last two plays? 23 easy yards within 10 seconds.

What do you think Matt Ryan was thinking when he saw that formation? Hot knife through butter, baby. Easy street. Game over.

Look at it this way. In that situation, if you give Matt Ryan a wish list,..What's your wish Matt? Three guys rushing, no pressure, no surprise.

Wish granted. By the Raiders.

7:32 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

Take, did you just miss the review SCAR gave on that last drive? 2 plays, was a 3 man rush, 1 blitz, the rest 4 man front. Why do you keep saying it was just a 3 man rush? Who started that rumor and when does it become recognized as a rumor? This experiment is getting weird.


9:56 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

When the Falcons got closer to paydirt, Raiders 37 yard line and in, is when the screws needed to be tightened not more loose.

Overall, I was very pleased with the performance of the players, untis, and coaching staff.

It is difficult to digest a loss when a win was within our grasp.

However, I'm not going to cry about it or point the finger at one play, one individual, or one coach, or making any lame excuses.

I am convinced that the Atlanta game is a proverbial fork in the road whereby the team either builds on it and continues to progress or we show the lack of consistency and traction that plagued us the previous 9 years.

Ultimately, this fork in the road will be determined by 1 thing -- leadership.

The players who are leaders and the coaching staff as a whole especially DA, need to make absolutely certain that we continue to progress as a team and don't slip back down into the hole that we are trying to desperately climb out of.

In my mind, the JAX game is the ultimate "prove it" game. Don't care how pretty it is or how it gets done but I am expecting a win.

10:05 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Last two plays. Sudden switch to three man rush. Prevent in full swing. 10 seconds. 23 yards. Matt Ryan wish list fulfilled. Game over.

Prior to that, the drive consisted of plays of 7, 9, 4 and zero yards.

The two prevent plays allowed the most yards on the drive. Why do it? Why not turn a 55 yard field goal into a 65 yarder by doing what you were already doing?

This take wasn't written in a vacuum. It's not about one game. It's about many games, spanning many years. I know you've been paying attention. We've seen this movie for the past 15 years. We need to educate the coaching staff. It doesn't work for the Raiders, never has. The last thing this staff needs to do is repeat history, because the history ain't pretty.

10:05 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Average yards of the first four plays of the drive: 5

Average of the final two plays with full-on prevent: 11.5

Game over.

Brilliant. Not.

Two more plays at 5 yards average = 65 yard field goal.

The Raiders + Prevent = Disaster.

The new coaching staff needs to dial up the game tape on all last minute losses over the past 17 years and become educated. Hence the petition.

10:12 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

“I agree Jack, NYR is into painting some pictures lately, he seems to have an axe to grind with the new coaches.”

That’s funny, Jones. What I’ve maintained is that it’s a team sport, and that coaching has a huge impact on player performance and results.

On the other hand, there is no question you’ve “painted” the Raiders problems as decidedly a player issue.

I think Sunday’s game proves how much influence coaching can have. We saw a lot of changes in terms of game planning, playcalling and even regarding the overall scheme.

These "coaching" adjustments clearly worked, despite the players struggles with execution, e.g., getting called for a season-high 12 penalties.

5:51 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

"NYR, I watched the PC and you are way off base"

Perhaps. My central point was simply that I hope the Raiders don't fall into the same trap that we've seen countless times and become complacent after playing at a high level against a superior team.

5:56 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

gary said...

Can you remember a game in which prevent defense worked?

"The last time we had a lead of 9 points or more with less than 3 minutes left, I'd guess."

That's pretty vague. You've never seen a team score 14 points in less than 2 min?

You have a short memory. The Raiders have a history of blowing 2 and 3 score leads using prevent D. The Buffalo game I mentioned in my post was probably the worst prevent defense collapses in the history of the sport.

It doesn't matter if there are two plays or 10 minutes left in the game. Prevent defense doesn't work.

ANY NFL QB with little or no pressure can and will find an open receiver (Sir Isaac Raider)

6:08 AM  
Anonymous gary said...

You have a short memory. The Raiders have a history of blowing 2 and 3 score leads using prevent D. The Buffalo game I mentioned in my post was probably the worst prevent defense collapses in the history of the sport.

To score more than 9 points in less that 3 minutes entails scoring once, then getting the ball back after kicking, and then scoring a second time... one of them being a TD.

Is that how you remember the Buff game, because I don't remember?

It usually means a team recovered an onside kick. Which is a different beast all-together than the prevent.

The prevent has its place... to pretend otherwise is naive.

7:01 AM  
Anonymous gary said...

I just looked it up. The Raiders were only up by 4 with 3:41 left.

Far far far different than being ahead by 9+ with 3 minutes left.

Like comparing an apple to a tire iron.

7:15 AM  
Anonymous JONES said...

Once again, NYR, you paint a picture. How do you know that the coaches changed scheme, game planning (which happens game per game on who the other team is) and playcalling? That is a pretty broad swipe with a paintbrush that has no hair. Are you in the coach's meetings? The film room?

AS far as painting it on the players....they have shown their history, the only history you have on the coaches is Knapp, at least my picture has some reality to it.


8:20 AM  
Anonymous JONES said...

Like I wrote, Take, use the Giants 3 man 'prevent' as opposed to the Raider starting D and tell me what you think happens at the end of that game. Players had to make a play, the were inches away, they hit a 55 yrd FG, like SCAR said, when do you give Atl credit for execution? Raiders played well, on the road, in their house and was one play from a win. Coach's played the odds, they came up a few yrds short.

This regime does not look at the history of the 'prevent' on this team and make their calls according to it. That's kind of 'out there', to imply they do so, is 'out there'.


8:28 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Jones - How do I know? I watched the game. I saw screens, bootlegs. end arounds, power blocking, and the D coverage play tighter on blitzing packages.

These are adjustments made by the coaches which I give them kudos, but it's notably different than previous games.

I'd say my observation is pretty grounded, and I'd guess it's shared by a lot of folks.

You go so far to defend anything and everything the coaches do that you totally stand behind a prevent defense that cost us a chance to win the game.

Defending something that didn't work, and almost never does, isn't exactly steeped in reality.

You want to play the "what if" game or tell us that was the only way to play it; yet, it's simple fact that it didn't work.

9:32 AM  
Blogger OakTownBlues said...

Take, once again, is spot on.

9:59 AM  
Blogger OakTownBlues said...

Prevent D equals Zero Balls, and, Zero Brains too... force the issue, or sit on your hands. The choice is obvious. (Brevity:Wit, like a Blitz.) Nice work Take.

10:02 AM  
Anonymous JONES said...

NYR...Was it changes put in by the staff, or was it the players being held more accountable for their play? Did the staff change it all so much that the players became so much better? Or did the players up their play because they knew their jobs were on the line? I guess you must know, seeing as you can't even get the facts right.

I would say the change was the players "came to play", they were making plays, how bout that? They made 3 pics off the top QB in 1 half, they made plays to get off the field on 3rd down. There were screens before Alt, there were some bootlegs before Atl......you keep stating things like they are facts, when they are just made up scenarios to bolster your argument.

And why didn't it work? Because you say it never works? Just like you said they just played a 3 man rush on the last drive? Or is it just because the Raider coaches called it? Boo hoo, keep crying over a last minute drive to give them a 55 yrder.

They played the odds and they were 1 play short, get over it, it happens to all "coaching staffs". If the players come up with a play, game over, they didn't, learn from it on move on, so should you.


10:53 AM  
Anonymous JONES said...

Mr.Brief.....Talk about zero brains....they rushed 4 players except for 2 plays, they blitzed on one play on the last drive, brief enough?


10:55 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

"NYR...Was it changes put in by the staff, or was it the players being held more accountable for their play?"

I think I made clear reference to different plays installed by the coaches. Players don't run a power blocking play if zone blocking is called.

As for the prevent defense, you want to lay blame on the players for it not working when you know it's a league-wide phenomenon of ineptitude due to a flawed scheme.

"They played the odds and they were 1 play short"

You mean like Russian Roulette?

11:53 AM  
Anonymous JONES said...

No, I mean like football, when you coach or manage, many times you play the odds, get it? A Baseball manager plays the odds all the time. If the 'prevent' is so useless, why has it been used throughout time by coach after coach? Because it loses every time? Because they want to put their players in a position to lose? It's to stop big gains and make them earn the yrds, use up time to get down field. The players need to step up and make a play, if you can't understand that, then I may as well be writing to Jethro.

You make no sense. Your reference to your own madeup fact, does not cement it as a fact.


12:16 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

By the way NYR, I just watched Romo and Lorenzo speak about this game, they said it was the players who decided to step up and PLAY with passion that made the difference. They played in the NFL, they know what it is, do you dispute them? They didn't mention anything of the scheme being changed or coaches calling a different game...I'm done.


12:19 PM  
Anonymous gary said...

I just watched the infamous final two prevent plays on the coaches film... the Raiders were in full prevent and full zone defense both plays. The first play Lee left Gonzalez free on the sidelines by about fifteen yards... he had to sprint upfield as fast as he could just to touch him.

The second play the only person around Gonzalez was Wheeler, and that is because he just happened to be standing there with his finger up his ass in the vicinity.

That is not how you win NFL games folks. Sorry.

4:31 PM  
Anonymous gary said...

Burris left Gonzalez alone to cover nobody on the sideline play.

Wheeler wasn't even watching the QB on the next play. He barely moved until after the throw left Ryans hand.

This team has ALWAYS sucked in zone coverage. Weren't we saying the same things last year after the Detroit game?

Ok, Allen... start correcting this shit!

4:48 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

1 more point, can't resist. This isn't an excuse, just pointing out a fact....how much does this team get to have gameday experience in running the 'prevent'? How many games does this team lead, late in the 4th Qrtr, so that they will go into the 'prevent'? It's not very often, maybe if this team had more gameday experience in protecting a lead, they would have a better idea in how to accomplish it? Just sayin.


7:31 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...


I honestly don't know why you are clinging to the "prevent D" or attempting (but failing) to prove it's merits.

The only reasonable time that "prvent D" can be truly justified, IMO, is when your team is up by 2 scores (9 points or more).

As a defensive unit, there are plenty of more sound ways to force the opponent to use up clock and keep the gains to a minimal.

Playing passive, non-aggressive, ole' D is totally counter-intuitive.

You keep saying "all the D needs to do is make a play" -- true but the best chance to make a play is through aggression not waving the white flag. Anytime you allow the combination of a QB with time and big spaces of open field in a soft zone, you are just asking to get beat.

9:18 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

Jack, is it because of the 'prevent' or is because the players choked up? If the 'prevent' was so useless, why are so many team using and have used it for decades? I saw the Patriots playing a soft zone against Seattle, is Belichet (whatever) a know nothing? If you can explain to me, why it is still used by most teams in the NFL, then go right ahead. I don't make the rules, but I can tell you about them.

What Defense would you suggest should have been used and be specific, let's go from there and I will counter why it wasn't used, ok? Remember, they are using a spread formation with very good weapons at all positions. Now tell me, what would you use vs that Offense with 40 sec on the clock and they only needed 3 to win. Show us all how you would be a better HC, in hindsight, than what the Raider HC is now. I put that challenge to all the whiners and know betters. Instead of bitching, tell everyone what you could of done better, simple challenge, let's see what we get.


10:31 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

"If the 'prevent' was so useless, why are so many team using and have used it for decades?"

You keep asking the same question, yet the answer has been given many times.

It sometimes makes sense when the score differential is 9 pts or more.

And, are you saying the Falcons waited until the last two plays of the game to run a spread offense?


4:37 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

You guys keep saying that it is effective with the score 9+ or more. What about the Lions game last year? We were up by 10, and lost on a 99 yard comeback drive with Calvin Johnson. the Raiders were in prevent for 2 drives that gave the game to the Lions because of it, with under 2 minutes to play.

Prevent defense is when there prevents you from winning.

6:30 AM  
Anonymous JONES said...

NYR....Just as I thought, you have no clue what to do instead. All you are doing is repeating what most are saying on these sites. Same people that are screaming to fire Knapp, to bring back Huey, to scrap everything they have started from Day 1.

Avoid the subject and try to build another strawman. I'm saying they ran a spread formation throughout the last drive, not just the 2 last plays. They may have run the set earlier and I'm sure the Defense spread out accordingly. If you are going to bitch, NYR, then tell me what you would have done differently. Tell me how you would have made a better call, in hindsight, to stop Atl, how and which Defensive alignment you would have used to stop them from getting a 55yrd FG? Let's get to the meat of it.


9:35 AM  
Anonymous JONES said...



1:45 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

"I'm saying they ran a spread formation throughout the last drive, not just the 2 last plays."

And it was on the last two plays the Raiders yielded the most yards. It doesn't take a football savant to see Ryan was taking what the Raiders were giving.

When the Raiders rushed 4 on the last drive, they yielded fewer yards. Ryan took only what the Raiders gave him. Then, of course, the Raiders gave him too much, ala soft coverage and little to no QB pressure.

There are numerous alternatives to prevent D. One is, stay the course. The Raiders played sound defense against the Falcons all day. Why fix it if it ain’t broke?

Continue to rush four and apply some pressure that otherwise didn’t exist with bringing just three. This should also allow them to tighten the coverage slightly, ala the plays preceding the critical last two.

Another option would have been to blitz. Clearly, a more dangerous option, but we’ve all seen it work before against spread formations (mostly by other teams).

Jones, by your own admission, the Raiders don’t get much opportunity to run prevent D.

So not only did they stray from the defensive formation(s) which they’d been successful most of the game, they went to a seldom-used formation which they they’ve had little to no practical application.


“All you are doing is repeating what most are saying on these sites.“

Listen, I don't need others to tell me what you are trying to defend is indefensible.

6:38 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...


If it was up to me on the last possession, I would have done the following;

1. Use 4 DL to rush the passer.
2. Go to 6 DBs and 1 LB to cover the spread formation. (It was OBVIOUS the Falcons were not going to run the ball)
3. Use Wheeler to shadow Gonzazlez, and the 6 DBs in an umbrella type zone where there are 2 deep safeties, and a bank of 4 DBs 5-10 yards off the line of scrimmage.

The other aspect of the D that was flawed was the lack of awareness on the DBs part to allow the Falcon WRs free reign to get out of bounds so easily to stop the clock. Take away the sideline out patters, funnel the WRs to the inside and good tackling and the Falcons would probably have 1 to 2 less plays to get into FG range. Either that or it would have forced Ryan to take a few more chances to pick up longer strikes instead of comfortablly spreading the ball around with the soft zone coverage and little to no pass rush.

6:57 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

Jack, what you describe, is what the Raiders ran before they went to a 3 man line in the last 2 plays. I know that everyone thinks they went to 3 man line through the whole drive. For 4 plays they had a 4 man line. The play that was complete to Gonzales on the sidelines was a screw up by Mike Mitchell (what a surprise).

NYR, they did play a 4 man line in that drive, they did blitz on one play, Atl got a completion. Did you see the line put pressure on the QB with the 4 man line on the last drive, no you didn't. Did you see the Raiders blow a couple of coverages on the last drive, yes you did. So was it the playcalling or the players going into dummy mode? The players didn't make the play they needed, that's it. And I'll ask you once again NYR, what formation should they have ran against that spread formation? Answer the question or do we get to see you dance some more?


8:38 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Jones - you're like a broken record.

"I know that everyone thinks they went to 3 man line through the whole drive. For 4 plays they had a 4 man line."

I don't think anyone here thinks that.

Obviously, the coaches made a different call on the last two plays then they had on the previous plays. The call they made was predicated on soft coverage with less pressure. It turned out to be the wrong call... as it has been virtually every time the Raiders play prevent D.

I don't remember you ever patting Rob Ryan on the back for getting beat using prevent D.

9:14 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...


The questions that I have for you are simple:

Why bother going to a 3 man rush the last 2 plays? 23 yards gained in 13 seconds.

From the ATL 40, :18 on the clock, why wouldn't the Raiders tighten up the coverage? Instead it got softer.

We can debate this last possession until we are blue in the face but the central point that most of us are trying to make is that a "prevent D" shouldn't have been used in the first place. And when you talk about the prevent, it isn't just the pass rush or just the coverage ... it is the attitude and mindset of the defenders. Aggressive or passive? Tight or soft?

Are you suggesting that you believe using the "prvent D" was the right move? That it actually works?

1:28 PM  
Anonymous gary said...

The problem with the 3rd and 6 play wasn't so much the prevent, was that someone allowed Gonzolez wide open ON THE SIDELINES. If he had been wide open in the middle of the field for ten yards, they would have had to burn a TO... and then complete a pass to the sidelines.

If they are moronic enough to use a lazy full zone and the prevent, they should at least have protected the sidelines at all costs.

Like I said, this was the first time they had a lead in a game, and they probably didn't even practice this shit. That's what happens with greenhorn coaching staffs.

Kinda like not having a backup long snapper in the first game costing us a win.

1:49 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

Too funny. Hey NYR, at least I can give reasons for my claims, unlike yourself. Rob Ryan and the Al Davis Defense is a whole nother story. And IF their Defense played well, I did say so. The Raiders D played a very good game EXCEPT for the last drive. Like I wrote, Mitchell screwed up on that play to the sidelines, it wasn't the scheme, it was a mental error. To imply that I am patting anyone on the back for mental breakdowns, is absurd. I will pat them on the back for a well played game, which I did, and I will ask you once again, NYR, tell me what you would have done different, if you can't, then STFU.

Jack said..."And when you talk about the prevent, it isn't just the pass rush or just the coverage ... it is the attitude and mindset of the defenders. Aggressive or passive? Tight or soft?"....

WTF do you think my point is? I wrote that the PLAYERS had to step up and make a PLAY, the players had to make a play, I even asked if the players lose a little something in those situations... can you guys READ?

They were getting beat when they rushed a 4 man front. Maybe the DC thought an extra man in the backfield would help tighten coverage. Like I wrote earlier, the reason Gonzales was wide open on the sidelines was a mental error by Mike Mitchell. They rushed 4 men earlier in the drive and getting no pressure. YOU even wrote that they should have played prevent by your explanation of what they should have done.....are guys from bizzarro world or something?

Last but not least we have Gary, who once again makes the same point I was, MENTAL ERRORS that caused the gains, not so much the scheme. Then you guys spin it into your little spinfest. Gary, to suggest they never practised this style of Defense is another absurd statement. Practise and gameday experience are 2 different things, of course they practised it....clueless is not an excuse to bitch.


2:19 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

"Hey NYR, at least I can give reasons for my claims, unlike yourself."

To borrow a phrase, your reference to your own madeup fact, does not cement it as a fact.

2:55 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

Answer the question = you can't = waste..of time. Just keep bitching about what you don't know NYR, keep making strawmen, it's all you KNOW.

Tell me what facts I have presented that are wrong...go ahead, or are you going to dance around this too? Going to have to start naming you BOJANGLES.


3:10 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Jones - why do you insist on me repeating myself? Short of knowing the Raiders playbook and the exact nomenclature, I have said repeatedly I believe they'd been better served sticking with rushing 4 and playing tighter in coverage.

As it turns out, prevent D was employed, and it was a mistake that cost the Raiders a chance to win the game.

You can't handle the simple truth that the coaches made a mistake... if for no other reason than you stated before, it's a seldom-used formation in which the players were destined to fail.

Get over it.

3:54 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

Repeat yourself? You haven't written one word on what you would have done, in hindsight. They did rush 4 men, NYR, if I am repeating myself, then why can't you understand that fact?

Allen just spoke to the media and said he puts it on himself for the last play, he said other than that, the players have to make the plays, which they didn't. It's on the players to play tight and make a play, you think the coaches tell them to let their WR's/TE stay open so they can catch it?

Allen also said they do not even use the term 'prevent'. You can't accept that the team played a good game and the coaching was good except for maybe one or 2 plays.

So to continue your bitchfest of the "coaching problems" you pick out the one or 2 plays instead of picking out that they played/coached a good game. If the Raiders lose against a top team in their park by a last sec FG and play a hell of a game, I'm not going to bitch.

PROGRESS, stop whining like a girl and realize that they played a good game, the coaching was good coming off the bye week. Keep crying in your pillow, waiting for your hero Huey to come back. Allen is here to saty, get over it.


4:44 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...


4:45 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

"YOU even wrote that they should have played prevent by your explanation of what they should have done.....are guys from bizzarro world or something?"

Do you read? The suggestion that I was made was to account for the spread offense of ATL and had NOTHING to do with prevent D principles. HUGE difference.

7:54 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...


I'm not trying to annoy you but I've got to ask you 2 questions that cuts through all the back and forth opinions;

#1 Do you think the Raiders played a prevent D the last possesion? A simple 'yes' or 'no' will suffice.

#2 Do you think the Raiders should have played a prevent D the last possesion?

My answers: Yes and No

8:01 PM  
Anonymous gary said...

Last but not least we have Gary, who once again makes the same point I was, MENTAL ERRORS that caused the gains, not so much the scheme. Then you guys spin it into your little spinfest. Gary, to suggest they never practised this style of Defense is another absurd statement. Practise and gameday experience are 2 different things, of course they practised it....clueless is not an excuse to bitch.

Uhh if they practiced this, it makes it look even more inept.

Let me guess... you think they had the backup long-snapper all practiced up and ready to go in game one.. just that he sucked?

How much koolade can you drink, Jones?

Jeesh... rookie coaches make rookie mistakes.

Its why we need to stop firing coaches NOW.

8:47 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Jones - you’re being ridiculous. Your obsession is clearly getting the best of you, and it’s causing you to unravel.

“They did rush 4 men”

What are we even talking about? Do you have a clue? NOT ON THE LAST TWO PLAYS!

“Allen just spoke to the media and said he puts it on himself for the last play,”

Then why can’t you accept that??

“he said other than that, the players have to make the plays”

That’s fair.

“Allen also said they do not even use the term 'prevent'”

LOL. That’s exactly what Rob Ryan said when he was questioned about using it.

“You can't accept that the team played a good game and the coaching was good except for maybe one or 2 plays”

Don’t put words in my mouth. Read my posts and you will see that I praised the coaching, except for the use of a prevent D on the last two plays. That’s what we’ve been discussing for the past week because of your obsession. HELLO!

“PROGRESS, stop whining like a girl and realize that they played a good game,”

Once again, read my posts, and stop spinning. I am a fan of progress and of Dennis Allen. However, I choose not to put a pillow over my head every time he or his coaching staff make a mistake... like you obviously do.

To borrow from Gary (scary how much we agree lately)

“Rookie coaches make rookie mistakes.”

Get over it, Jones!

“Its why we need to stop firing coaches NOW.”

Three years, minimum. But please tell me I don’t have to agree with every play that’s called. Please!!

5:39 AM  
Anonymous gary said...

JMAC has a post defending the prevent up right now... and there is this:


This article sez you only use it when you up by more than 3 points... which I disagree with.

At any rate, using it when a team is TIED is playing with fire.

8:33 AM  
Anonymous The5er said...

Hey RT, little off your topic of prevent with this commentary but after reading an ESPN blog this morning I got fired up to write in...

I have an issue which has been festering for some time now. A general theme I hear both from many here at RT, as well as among the “experts” around the league, is that the Raiders simply don’t’ have the talent to be competitive in today’s NFL landscape. ESPN’s Bill Williamson AFC Blog this morning described the Raiders “a team that has big holes throughout the roster” and “a franchise that just needs so much to really be a contender”.

I‘m not here to necessarily dispute that argument. I myself am trying to evaluate what the issue is in Oakland… is it really a lack of talent? Coaching? or just part of the natural transition to a new system and new leadership? The answer is important because properly identifying it is the only way to truly move us out of the abyss of mediocrity that has been the last decade.

So on the issue of talent, I offer up the following take for consideration:

If the cupboard in Oakland is in fact completely bare, and a major upgrade is required at so many positions, then my question is simply this: what in the hell were we doing last year competing for a division championship on the final week of the season? All while dealing with other key issues such as:

a) Losing your starting QB in mid-season
b) Losing your top RB in mid-season
c) Having your top two wideouts miss over half of their respective seasons.
d) Dealing with a torpedo hole left in the front office after the death of your owner/GM and key decision maker.

To say it a different way, if you consider this laundry list of issues in combination with lack of talent, then how is it that Hugh Jackson didn’t get more credit for having this team on the brink of a post season appearance? With so many apparent holes in the ship, perhaps HuJack should have been commended for his effort rather than heavily criticized by fans and media alike.

Since we know HuJack wasn’t necessarily up for coach of the year honors, it makes it hard for me to buy the “empty cupboard” theory. Instead, I agree with what RT has been saying most of the year. We were 8-8 last year with numerous injuries to our top performers. We made a few “upgrades” under our new leadership in the offseason so it should be reasonable to expect a similar position (or better) this year. Most importantly, shouldn’t we be able to hold McKenzie and co. to the same high standard that we applied to their predecessors?

Look forward to your feedback.


9:02 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Maybe JMac's been reading this site? Certainly sounds like he's been reading Jones' takes. Here's a link to the piece, good find Gary:


Here's my problem with it. The Raiders went their softest on the final two plays, which yielded the two biggest plays in the drive. I see cause and effect.

It's not that I expect them to dial up a corner blitz right then. But why go super soft right at that crucial point?

Here's how JMac reports it: "In the Raiders loss to the Falcons, Allen said the Raiders used only three rushers twice on the final drive. Tarver cited a big completion to Roddy White the previous week against Carolina and not wanting to duplicate that error."

Twice, yes. Twice on the last two plays, from a position of fear based on a play the previous week, instead of based on confidence that nothing too bad happened on the previous four plays rushing four.

Honestly, if you were to ask Matt Ryan what he'd like to see in that situation, two more plays to go. Don't you think he'd say, peel back to three rushers and give me time and minimal pressure so that I can find one of my elite receivers get open against the Raiders non-elite secondary?

Don't you think that's what he'd say? And if so, why give him his wish?

The other problem I have with it is the default "you never played or coached the game" argument to stifle criticism. JMac writes, "They study this stuff a lot more than the guy sitting on the couch or the media member at his computer. It’s their livelihood."

Yeah, well football was JaMarcus Russell's and Chuck Bresnehan's livelihood.

But since I never played or coached the game, I have no business questioning them?

9:03 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Awesome take and food for thought, The5er! I'll stew on it, and I know others will chime in as well.

9:05 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Jones acts like prevent defense was the only possible play. Like rushing four with tighter coverage made no sense, despite that combination yielding fewer yards on previous plays.

Jones is holding me to higher accountability than he is Dennis Allen, who stated in hindsight (and Jones referenced this), he should have called tighter coverage.

But that's not good enough. I’m being harassed on what play, exactly, Allen should have called. I can't take the coaches word for it; I have to somehow prove it to Jones.

Before I get the predictable “player execution” comeback, I will totally agree it falls on the players. But calling the right play is critical too. So why call a seldom-used play that the players have lower probability of executing?

By the way, Jones, for your edification, my disapproval of the prevent defense on the last two plays has nothing to do with my overall assessment of the coaching staff, as you keep eluding.

11:28 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

The5er - Great take. I agree with much of what you're suggesting.

I think it's safe to say the Raiders were a better team last year at this time.

However, I truly believe the one step back, two steps forward theory regarding the current regime.

Despite some folks disbelief that rookie coaches might be making rookie mistakes, that's how I see it. But I also believe the need for improvements across the roster is absolute.

These separate issues don't exist, as RT likes to say, in a vacuum.

Thanks for sharing your take.

11:36 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

4 man rush and tighter coverage -- this is what needed to be dialed up the ENTIRE last possession.

Allen showed accountability in his PC just like Palmer did with his INT.

Tomorrow's contest vs. JAX is a prove it game for me. Learning from previous game mistakes, players and coaches alike, is how this team will progress.

12:21 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

Holy shit, morons galore. Hey dopes, you are all forgetting that they came out in a 5wr set, spread the field. The Raiders have to call a Defense accordingly. A Nickel package would not work against that set, a 3-4 will not work against that set, a 4-3 will not work in that set. So the Raiders had to go with a 'prevent' package, otherwise they are outmanned vs excellent talent at the wideout position = easy big gains.

If this is all to hard to sink into your thick heads...that's on you, so good luck with your thick heads.


1:44 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...


4 WR set + 1 TE and we've got 7 defenders in coverage ...

and does this mean the D shouldn't play tighter coverage? No.

Should the DBs be giving up a big cushion? No.

It isn't how many WRs ATL sent out or how many defenders OAK put in coverage.

It is how our defenders were employed and a lack of aggressive play.

4:16 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

5er....yes, it all has come to a very real transition. The core of the team has been used to the "Raider way" for all their time in Oakland. Most of them never seeing how another NFL team was run/compared to Raiderville, or what would be asked of them in a "up to date" Org. Many of their habits needed to change, more was being asked of them. Then they had to adjust to a new scheme on both sides of the ball. So in this transition, maybe they are still trying find their equilibrium. Also, starting CB's going down quickly hurt, instability at the WR position has hurt them early, though it seems to be coming around. The O-line losing the RT and the backup C starting, hurt them early.

AS far as the talent issue, they are lacking, top players do not quit and do not have as many off games as they do good games. Palmer, at this point, is their best player. Defense has holes, no doubt, just not enough talent and "repeat mistakers". The O-line isn't good enough at this point, WR is avg, Rb needs a back that has talent and is willing/able to play in the zone system.

Coaching is trying to change a culture that has hindered this team for years, they are trying to stop the mental errors that have plagued the team for years. I see that these coaches are coaching, you could see it in Atl, coming off the bye week, the were well prepped and ready to play a good game.

They will not except excuses and if a player cannot make the cut, they will not be around very long. They want guys who won't take plays off, who put in major work in the film room, who love to play the game of Football. I figured the core players would be ready from day 1 to embrace the 'new' way, would be completely inspired....but, in the 2nd game of the year, I saw them quit on the field. Then I saw it again in Denver. I saw them quit last year, late in the season when they could have made the playoffs even though it was a weak division. The team flopped at the end of last season and has flopped coming out of the gate this season. Watching them play last week gave me some hope that they can turn it around. But, I am keeping in mind their past history of showing glimpses and then tanking. IF they can change that, then we will have a team to be proud of. Just show progress, week to week, it's all we can ask.

I think the management has to be given time to prove themselves. Reggie made some good signings, he made the trade for Goodson that could be a steal. He is hitting all angles to try and improve the talent and get players that can play in Allen's systems. In the " predecessors" way, we had a 50 year time period to come to a conclusion of it = it was a mess in the last 10 at least.

This management has come in and tried to clean it up as soon as possible and it seems to be a bigger task than what we bargained for. If Reggie is here for 50 years and is doing the same things 50 years from now and it isn't working, I'm sure there will be fans asking for something new.


4:41 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

Jack, so you are telling me the coaches told the players to play off, let them catch the ball? Do they tell them in practise to stay off them and let them catch the ball? And when a player let a WR catch it, the coach would pat him on the ass and say "that's the way you do it"?

NO, NO.....the coach would say, YOU HAVE TO MAKE A PLAY, KEEP ON THAT GUY AND KNOCK THE BALL DOWN, READ THE QB, TRY FOR A PICK IF IT'S THERE. The players dummied up, they need to learn that they can't sit back and let the plays happen. The play to Gonzales, that you guys use as your reference to bad coaching, was a blown coverage by Mitchell, is that because of the 'prevent'?

They were playing zone, getting up in their grill, playing man to man with a suspect Backfield, Ryan would wait to see who is blowing their coverage and "BOOM" = big play. In zone you can diguise for a while, try and give the front 4/3 time to get to the QB. Again, no one got close to the QB.

In Man to man, it's easier to read and Ryan would be able to indentify his target sooner and for a probable bigger gain. Zone causes the QB to throw it underneath, if you are playing man, much easier to make a deeper play....I have had enough, the circle has been circled way to many times already. If you can't get the point, oh well, I have had enough. They sure played a good game though and I hope it continues this week.


4:54 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...


The only point that I was trying to convey is that the coverage deployed made it far to easy for Ryan to move down the field.

The DBs gave a bigger cushion, played further off the LOS ... this is what I would defines as a "soft zone".

At no time did I suggest the Raiders going to M2M.

I agree that the team played very well which is why the last possession stings.

9:02 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

New take up, a fun diversion, especially for Star Wars fans in the Raider Nation!

9:58 PM  
Anonymous The5er said...

Thanks for the feedback RT, NY, and Jones.
It’s nice to see some grounded perspective. I want to believe in the transition myself. NY said it really well with the "one step backwards, two steps forward" example. I think I can smell the change happening too... even if my eyes deceive me at times on Sundays.

I vividly remember the last time I saw material change take place in Oakland. In the 2nd year under Jon Gruden (1999) we opened on the road at GB and MIN who were two of the dominant NFC teams at the time. Admittedly, I was pretty low going in to the season after we had placed our eggs in the basket of one Rich Gannon in the offseason. These were two games which the Raiders of much of the 90's were going to get completely humiliated.

However, much to my surprise, we brought the fight to the Packers for 4 qtrs in Lambeau. To RT's point about the history of the failed prevent, we were eventually Farve'd in the end by two late TD's and lost by 4. However, the next week in MIN we duplicated the performance and pretty much beat down the Vikings who were fresh off their 15-1 season. Although we eventually battled to only an 8-8 record that year, I clearly remember from those two games knowing that change was on the horizon. Obviously, the 2000-2002 AFC Championship campaign proved it to be true.

Anyway, long stroll down memory lane there... I can at least see some similarities in the transition in place currently. Here's to hoping its not just another mirage.

The 5er

4:49 AM  
Anonymous the5er said...

By the way RT, sent a longer take to your email. Just in case you aren't checking it...

4:51 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

New take is up--Guest take by the5er!

9:02 AM  

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