Monday, November 20, 2017

Sunday Postmortem: Clown Car Edition

Sorry, I wish it weren't so, but it's time to bust out the Clown Car after yesterday's beatdown in Mexico. 

Yesterday, Tom Brady was a hot knife, and our secondary was butter. One report put it succinctly. "Brady completed 30 of 37 passes for 339 yards and three touchdowns against a defense that has allowed the league’s highest opponents’ passer rating." 

Now, say it out loud: "In 2016, the Raiders had a potent offense, and weak defense. So they kept their DC and fired their OC."

How does that sound, and how is that working out?

The Raiders haven't had a defense ranked in the top 15 of the NFL since 2010. 

Here's one metric unearthed by NY Raider: "Per Pro Football Focus, David Amerson, Smith and McDonald have allowed the three highest opponent passer ratings this season out of 121 cornerbacks who have played at least 101 snaps."

Meanwhile, we made a major upgrade at tight end, added Beast Mode and maintained the trio of Carr, Cooper and Crabtree...yet suddenly can't seem to move the ball with any consistency.

This is on Del Rio and McKenzie.

Incredibly, the division is still there for the taking. With the Chiefs bumbling and the Broncos burning, an amazing opportunity has unfolded before us this season.

But instead of racing to the top of the AFC West, we appear destined to sputter to the finish line unless drastic improvement is made. Pronto.


Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

The Clown Car is deserving. I've been on Twitter all morning calling for Todd Downing to be fired. You had a potent running game with Lynch and Richard; and move the ball into the red zone down 14-0, and you call a pass, and Seth Roberts has it punched out. Patriots then drive down the field in less than 30 seconds, and kick a 62 yard field goal to go up 17 at halftime.
The worst, the Raiders came out even more flat at the start of the 3rd Quarter, completely abandoned the running game (that was dominant and keeping Brady off the field), and no adjustments on either side of the ball. That is just plain horrible coaching from Del Rio, Pagano, Norton Jr, and Downing. I don't know about you, but I see DC is frustrated, and I think it is geared to Todd Downing.
I've said it before, he went to a Zone Offensive Game plan (Zone Blocking, Zone Running, and Zone Passing routes). This crap works in college, but not the NFL. Reggie McKenzie said last year that he was building a bully; now the bully is being coached to play nice and wait for the other team to attack first. When has that ever worked? Todd Downing still believes in his system, and that speaks volumes to me because it screams that he doesn't believe in the strengths of his players. That is why he has to go.
Bill Belichek on the other hand, showed that the scheme should be all about your player's strengths. This is what makes him a great coach. He put out a bunch of second stringers on his banged up defense, and made them look like Pro-Bowlers against a team that should be lights out offensively. I'm completely dumbfounded by the Raiders right now. I thought we were past this Lame Kiffin/Tom Cable/Dennis Allen/Greg Knapp stage. Our season is over, the Raiders are done, stick a fork in them. We will be lucky to beat out the Doncos for the bottom dwellers of the Division.

7:51 AM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...

I got the feeling that the Pats could have easily won the game 60-0 if they wanted to.

Nate...I can't blame Downing for using the scheme he was hired to install. I have to believe that Raiders brass knew Downing used a soft zone scheme, and hired him to do just that.

Again, Norton is not out there freelancing as DC. He was hired by JDR, with the approval of GM Reggie. We can only conclude that JDR, Norton, & Reg, all from defensive backgrounds, are of the same mind about the defenses scheme.

The bottom line is, Every opposing Qb in the league has easily picked Raiders D apart. Even T. Taylor of Bills, since benched, was an astounding 20-27. And the fear of Raider DB's intercepting a pass is none existent.

If the Raiders bring JDR and his staff back next season, they will be getting the same schemes, and probably the same results. These schemes are, statistically, among the worst ever in NFL history.

It's all up to Mark Davis. The man in the white sweatshirt, Mr. Vegas, can hold onto the cards he dealt, or reshuffle the deck.

12:05 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Dare I say, Todd Downing's failure as Raiders' OC warrants a billboard rental. Because it just doesn't seem like any of the Raiders brass get it. Apparently, they are not watching the Raiders play, or we wouldn't be going through this headbanging insanity every game.

Belichick schooled the Raiders, and he didn't even need his star QB to do it. With his worst-ranked defense (in total yards), he easily stymied the Raiders offense. Meanwhile, Raider WRs lead the league in drops, and only added to their embarrassing total yesterday.

Raiders will want to blame injuries on defensive, but they really don't have that many injuries compared to other NFL teams. They lack skill and discipline... which largely stems from coaching!

As RT points out, the Raiders have been given a gift of other divisional teams' incompetence. The only real hurdle is the Chiefs, who they beat.

What's it gonna take to field a winner?!

10 games in, this is among the worst Raider teams we've seen since Al passed. McKenzie and Del Rio should be ashamed to allow this to continue. At this point, they are complicit.

That's it! This game isn't worthy of discussing x's and o's. The whole scheme needs to be scrapped! Many of the players are proven commodities, so there's the proof.

3:36 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

On a more personal note, after a promising 2016 season, I stacked my FFB team with Raiders skill players. Needless to say, I am crashing and burning, with no viable replacements.

Amazingly, the Raiders still have a snowballs chance, but my FFB season is quickly becoming a total loss!

3:40 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

PSS. Although I said I wouldn't get into the weeds with this game (it's a larger problem), evidence of failures are easy to spot.

For example, channeling Jeff Foxworthy, when your "hurry-up offense" takes 2 timeouts in the 4th Qtr because they can't get the ball snapped before the play clock expires, you might have a problem.

Communication with the sideline sucks. Downing is way over his head!!!

3:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey guys I think we can balme the entire coaching staff and Reggie a little bit as well.

Let's start with the fact that the Raiders have had 3 CBs suited up for the last three games. Seriously, WTF Reggie. Then Del Rio decides to start a rookie saftey (Obi) at CB in his second pro game. I think that is a microcosm of everything that has gone wrong this year.

Lynch looked great though. (Looking at you NY lol)

All the best and Happy thanksgiving to all of my fellow Raider suffers 00, Texas Nate, NY and Raider Take.

The only reason I am not totally down in the dumps is that my Miami Hurricanes are giving me their best season in like close to 15 years.


4:31 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Sandy, the juice isn't worth the squeeze. Lynch sits for the National Anthem, then stands for the Mexican Anthem. He invites distraction to the team, and has never spoken a word about what he protests.

This is the best summation I found:

As Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal tweeted late in the game, “The Raiders traveled to 7,200-plus feet altitude to hit rock bottom.” (PFT)

5:24 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

It's a sad day when 11 carries for 67 yards and no TDs is a monster game by our lead RB.

5:26 PM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...

Have a happy turkey day Sandy, and everyone.

Unfortunately, the real turkey has been the Raiders this year.

5:34 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

So check this out. Yesterday, the Doncos fired Mike McCoy and replaced him with .......... Musgrove! You think Musgrove is going to light us up? I do.
I think the Raiders brass needs to be reaching out to McCoy at this point.

I'm not sure the brass really knew TD's entire plan. He kept saying he was not going to change the system, just add a few things. His entire system is against Reggie McKenzie's philosophy of building a bully. This alone should get him canned. Look at the demeanor between he and Carr now. They were BFF's headed into the season, and now they barely look at each other. Also, we are back to the point where no one is sitting with Carr and the offense going over plays/schemes/adjustments in game. You look at Brady and other good teams, they are constantly making in-game adjustments. Again, Downing is a College guy, send him back down and hire McCoy.

Norton has been lost for 3 years. He is a good dude among the players and knows how to motivate, but he is not a DC. He needs to understand the entire defense, not just linebackers. That is why they hired Pagano, and I think this further demoted his confidence in himself, and it shows. Pagano is not a "great" defensive coach, but he is an upgrade from what we have. He should be DC next season.

Our D-Line should be Edwards Jr and Vanderdoes at DT, Irvin and Mack at DE (let's face it, Aldon Smith is done and not coming back). Bowman, Cowser, and Morrow should be our starting LBs. Joseph is the only bright spot in our secondary as a big hitter, but he is not a cover guy. I'd give Conley and Melinfonwu a chance, but at some point DB is going to have to be a priority. Conley seemed decent the two games he played. Don't know what is going on with him, but clearly something since he's having surgery.

As for this season, I'm already looking ahead to the draft. Who could we get to "Fill" some glaring holes in the secondary? I'd love to draft Ken Webster (CB, Ole Miss), and he may be there for us if we have a high draft #. If not, then Carlton Davis (CB, Auburn) or Jaire Alexander (CB, Louisville). I'd prefer Davis over Alexander because of height. Then add Adonis Alexander (CB, Virginia Tech) in later rounds. I'd take Roquon Smith (OLB, Georgia) or James Hearns (OLB, Louisville) in the 3rd (maybe the 2nd, depending on who). If I save OLB for 3rd round, I would definitely pick Zach Allen (DE, Boston College) or Arden Tate (WR, FSU) with my second pick.

That's all I got for today. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out in Raider land. It has been a difficult year for me personally, that started with the unexpected passing of my friend and life mentor; my dad. But I have so many things I'm grateful for. My relationship with my dad alone is enough to show me how blessed I am. I had no regrets, nor anything I wish I would have told him or vice versa. This makes me doubly blessed. I know I'm not the only one with difficulties, as I know many friends who have lost so much more in Santa Rosa and other areas. There are only a few things I am more passionate about than the Raiders; my faith and my family. So as we enter into Thanksgiving and Christmas, I want to leave with these thoughts. Life is short, don't leave anything unsaid. Tell your family how much you love them for who they are. Cherish your time together, and be the difference you want to see take place in your life.

6:42 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Ken Norton Jr is GONE! Pagano is the new DC. Todd Downing should be next, and McCoy should be new OC. Let the axe fall!!!! JUST WIN, BABY!!!

2:57 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

The writing was on the wall when Pagano was hired. That, and epic failures on defense, set up this firing and promotion. Not sure about the promotion, but the firing is well-deserved.

Even so, I think firing Downing should have been given higher priority. Downing is failing at coaching a proven squad, while Norton - as bad as he's been - can only be as good as the players he's given. Not to give Norton a pass, but Downing has been worse.

Easy to say, those two knuckleheads make the worst coordinator tandem in the NFL, which speaks poorly of Del Rio's decision-making.

In terms of Musgrave, this week's game will be interesting. Musgrave is an experienced OC who knows the Raiders inside and out. Sadly, advantage: Broncos!

3:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thoughtful and kind words Nate

11:31 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Yeah, Nate, words to live by. Happy Thanksgiving!

1:05 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

IMO, Raiders need to make a move at DB. Bring someone up from the practice squad or sign someone. Obi, in an interview said he thought he did well in coverage on Sunday. I assume that was before he saw the tape. Ugh! The kid is big and athletic but should have never been placed on the island that Norton and Del Rio put him. He was way over his head.

Raiders have shuffled CBs since McKenzie showed up, and he's yet to put anyone on the field that's really consistent... unless we're measuring consistently bad. Amerson's first year was a gift, and that player has been around since.

Part of the problem in the secondary is lack of pressure. The Raiders don't have enough talent, outside of Mack, to rely on rushing base four. They need stunts and blitzes to survive... assuming that will be Pagano's mission to provide.

Not even sure I can watch football tomorrow. This season is a huge disappointment.

1:11 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Chiefs signed Darrelle Revis today. Revis might be rusty but he's a pro. The Chiefs are clearly far more serious about winning than the Raiders, who only have 3 healthy CBs and won't even promote practice squad players to fill the void. At least the Chiefs are trying to win games.

1:57 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Nate, God bless you my friend. I lost my dad when I was 21, it's hard to lose a parent at any age. Glad you have strong and fulfilling memories of your relationship together, those will last forever.

1:25 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

The John Pagano era begins today. Does anyone believe Pagano will be better than Norton? Maybe. But the Raiders still have the same roster, and there are weaknesses and incompetencies that even an experienced DC can’t overcome.

So it’s Pagano vs Musgrave; the last decent coordinator to coach in Oakland, now on the other sideline.

If I’m Pagano, I would challenge the defense to produce a turnover; specifically, an INT. Their current record-breaking NO-INT streak has to stop this week.

We know the secondary sucks, so to make something happen, Pagano needs to bring more pressure and try to keep the Broncos’ QB off balance.

Perfect timing! Broncos bring back Paxton Lynch this week. This should be a perfect opportunity for the Raiders. Right?!

Lynch is big (6'7" and 244 lbs) but he’s essentially a rookie, who’s only thrown 83 official passes as a pro. Broncos will want to run the ball and throw short to medium passes to keep Lynch from making a costly mistake.

Raiders need to apply the pressure and press WRs at the line. Make the kid react, and keep the Broncos off their game.

With Norton out, Downing should be next to be fired, then Del Rio. This thing has gotten too ugly to fix itself. Between Norton and Downing, I see Downing as the bigger offender. This guy destroyed a high-powered offense all by himself. And Del Rio should be blamed for not putting a stop to this charade. Accountability!

Today is a must-win, home game!

No excuses!


4:46 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Headed out shortly to meet some friends to watch the game. First, here are some thoughts w/stats to check out...

In the last 4 games, QBs have destroyed the Raiders’ secondary.

Yet, despite the obvious, the Raiders made no moves this week to promote a practice squad CB (Borders was a standout in pre-season and has had all season to learn and run in the Raiders system), nor did they sign a CB to the roster. They are playing today with 3 CBs... same as last week when they were torched.

Here’s a breakdown of the last 4 games vs opposing QBs.

Chiefs: 25/36 passing (69%), with 3 TDs and QB rating of 127.3
Bills: 25/36 passing (69%), with 1 TD and QB rating of 101.6 (Taylor was later benched)
Dolphins: 34/42 passing (81%), with 3 TDs and QB rating of 121.3 (Culter completed >10 to start the game)
Pats: 30/37 passing (81%), with 3 TDs and QB rating 132.0 (Brady started where Culter left off).

This year, opposing QBs have a 113.3 QB rating avg. against the Raiders, with 17 TDs and 0 INTs.

Raiders are -9 in turnovers, which is a huge swing from last year when they were among best in the league.

Deservedly, Del Rio fired Norton, but being a defensive-minded HC, shouldn't we assume Del Rio became directly involved in the defense prior to firing the man? Yet, if you look at the last games Norton presided over, those were among his worst as Raiders DC.

What does that tell us?

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