The numbers were ugly in terrible performance vs. division rival
The stats in this one were ugly. Let’s deep dive and see how it all shakes out.
The Raiders continue to struggle against two high safeties.
The joke that Patrick Mahomes can’t read a defense because of two high coverages is all over Twitter. Raiders fans see the joke is on them because the Raiders are having the same issues as the Chiefs against these coverages.
According to SIS, Carr is 6th in the NFL facing middle-of-the-field open defenses. He is 22nd in passer rating minimum 40 attempts with only two touchdowns and five of his eight interceptions. We saw the Raiders struggle against the Giants in the red zone, where Carr faced two high on seven of his drop backs. The Chiefs played primarily cover 2, which took away the check-downs that helped with two deep safeties.
The offensive line had a rough day, and the Raiders missed big plays because of it.
3×1 peel(post/wheel) vs cover 2 with Renfrow chipping to the flat. The post holds the playside safety, and Renfrow holds the corner. Waller is wide open, but Carr is sacked. pic.twitter.com/a3yeK6c7FA
— Marcus Johnson (@TheMarcJohnNFL) November 16, 2021
The Raiders adjusted well in the second half when facing two high looks. However, the line faltered and didn’t let the Raiders attack the safeties exposed in these coverages. Hopefully, they can run the ball and make teams pay for the empty boxes.
The offensive line has their worst day in weeks.
The Raiders’ offensive line has been solid for the previous three weeks, especially in the run game. That all came to a halt this week as they put out their worst performance since Week 5 vs. the Chicago Bears.
The offensive line and tight ends accumulated 19 blown blocks, and seven came in the run game from my charting. That means the Raiders had a blown block on 50 percent of their rushing attempts on the game, which is a season-high. In the second half, they gave up six pressures with five just in the third quarter. According to SIS, Carr used a five or seven-step drop eight times, and he was under pressure on 62 percent of the drop backs.
The line has been a strength since Greg Olson took over, but it hid behind Carr’s uptake in three-step drops and quickly got rid of the ball. When the Raiders needed explosive plays to keep up, it was reminiscent of the Chargers game.
Secondary gets exposed in the middle.
The Raiders have been good outside for most of the year, with Casey Heyward reminding people why he was an all-pro. However, the Raiders are young inside with lower-level coverage linebackers, and the Chiefs went to work on the defense’s weakness.
According to PFF, Mahomes was 12/14 for 134 and a touchdown when attacking the middle of the field from 1-10 yards. Nate Hobbs and Johnathan Abram combined to give up 48 percent of Mahomes passing yards with 197 yards between them using PFF. Kelce was the main target in this area, and the Raiders had no answer for him at any point in the game.
Teams have shut down the Chiefs by playing two high and controlling Travis Kelce. That plan didn’t work for the Raiders, and the Chiefs exposed weakness again in a tough division matchup. The Raiders will need a plan on how to stop teams inside.
Maxx Crosby continues breakout season.
Maxx Crosby’s story keeps growing by the week as he emerges as an elite pass rusher. He had a matchup against his former teammate from Eastern Michigan, and it became a banner day for Crosby rushing the passer.
PFF said the fourth-round pick added 13 more pressures to his total vs. the Chiefs Sunday night. He had 11 hurries on the day, which exhibits how quickly Mahomes was getting rid of the football. He was great in the run game, setting the edge, and disruptive in the run game. The sad part is there are no sacks on the board for Crosby.
The former MAC conference stands out is on pace to break the PFF record of total pressures. He has 63, which is 13 more than Myles Garrett, who is in second place. Crosby’s sacks keep him out of the defensive player of the year discussion, but there are nine games left. If the sacks come in bunches, he can still win.