Oakland Raiders fans (like this blogger) can erase any dream that the Silver and Black would be able to knock off the Defending Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers and stop the midwestern team’s win streak at 12 games for the 2011 NFL Season. The Raiders were destroyed by the Packers 46 to 16, and in a game where the Raiders forgot to bring the Defense, and really put on a textbook display of poor tackling.
Even with the score, the stats were pretty even save for the following: penalties (the Raiders had 11), turnovers (the Raiders had a whopping five of them), and yards-per-rush (The Raiders gave up 5.7). Where the Raiders went wrong is in their defensive design. They don’t assign people to cover the gap spaces between linemen.
The old Dallas Cowboys under Tom Landry did this best: each player on the defensive line was assigned a place that was the shoulder of the offensive lineman toward the gap the defender was responsible for. Thus, if the defensive tackle missed being positioned that way, the gap was open.
Looking at Raiders Defense on video, it’s obvious that they’re not coached to play that way. So Packers running backs like Ryan Grant consistently found daylight and for big gains.
The other problem is an obvious lack of offensive pass plays that are just plain three steps, but out of formations designed to insure the open receiver, and the old flare pass to the running back – the ‘long handoff’ – has been all but forgotten in the Raiders offense.
All of this has played into the hands of the Green Bay Packers, who play the best example of the modern version of the Bill Walsh Offense I’ve seen since the San Francisco 49ers under Steve Mariucci. That the Packers will march through the 2011 NFL Season unbeaten is doubtful, but it’s fun to watch their progress.
The Raiders should not have made noise about wanting to knock off the Packers before the game, and just focused on football preparation. As Craig Morton said after his Denver Broncos were clobbered by the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XII, “We were out there thinking about winning; they were out there thinking about football.”