Reading and Thinking Football

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Upon Further Review: OAK@TEN Offense

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Hey, I’m actually getting a game up the week thereof. Yes, I’m still behind, but here’s the Oakland game in its entirety. Additional commentary to come later.

T24 1 10 Standard 2-TE Run 6 White Cutback
Run up the middle-looks like there was probably a pretty decent alley, and White runs forward for a good gain on first down.
T30 2 4 I-Form, 3-WR Pass Inc Moulds In
It’s a bootleg play to the “strong” side, where Gage and Moulds were. Gage runs a little short out, while Moulds runs a deeper (9 yard) in. VY boots and throws it to Moulds, who has the pass go off his hands. Yeah, that’s a drop. (CA)
T30 3 4 Shotgun 4-WR Close Pass Inc White Checkdown
White slips out of the backfield and is right in front of VY standing at the first down marker. VY puts a decent pass for him, but LB Howard makes a good defensive play to bat the ball away. This is another one of those plays that shows why I lust after coaches’ film-no clue if this is VY’s best option, but it’s not a great one. In the basence of more information, (CA)
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 1Q 14:15. Good first down run, then a dropped pass and a nice defensive play. That’s the problem with passing-as the Woody Hayes quote goes, “Three things can happen when you pass, and two of them are bad.” Of course, the same is also true about running, but being fair to people who thought differently wasn’t necessarily Woody’s agenda.
T20 1 10 I-Formation Run 3 White Cutback
Blah, short run up middle. Moulds blocking DT Kelly isn’t exactly fair to Eric, but that’s life.
T23 2 7 Shotgun Base Run 0 White Read Option
VY makes the right read on the DE, but the give to White is supposed to be up the middle, and there’s aboslutely no running room there.
T23 3 7 Shotgun Base Pass 4 Young Scramble
Watching this play, I had a really unpleasant thought-do the Titans only send 3 pass-catchers out on a pattern because they think they need 7 to block even if the other team only rushes 4, like the Raiders did here, or is it because they don’t trust the QB to have to make that many reads? Is either a good sign for the offense? On this play, Burgess is making a wide rush around the outside of Scaife on the right side, so of course White stays up the middle rather than helping on the outside. And with 7 to cover 3, none of whom has spectacular individual skills, there’s nothing for VY to do but to try to take off, which doesn’t work because the WRs aren’t that far downfield. Problems compounding problems. (SCR)
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-3, 1Q 8:40. If you can’t run the ball with consistent success or pass the ball with consistent success, your offense is going to struggle to score points.
T34 1 10 Strong I, Standard 2-TE Pass Inc Gage Deep Drag
VY does the bootleg action, and Gage comes all the way across the formation about 55 yards downfield, where VY tries to hit him. The pass is thrown too far ahead of where Gage is trying to go, and Gage appears to stumble trying to get to the ball. This may have been a DB-aided stumble, but the ball is too far to realistically call pass interference. (IN)
T34 2 10 4-WR Run 4 White Cutback
Another “we don’t respect your passing game” defensive call-the Raiders have 5 guys over the line at the line of scrimmage, the slot defender to the left is on the edge of the box, and LB Morrison is on the other edge of the box. There’s enough of a lane created by the offensive line to get 4 yards, but that’s all you can realisitically hope for from this play if you don’t have a running back who can make one or two guys miss. And White isn’t that guy. Incidentally-this is how Texas stopped White in the 4th quarter of the Rose Bowl, a subject I will opine on at minor length if prompted.
T38 3 6 Shotgun Base Pass 8 White Checkdown
VY looks, but quickly dumps it to White in the left flat. White makes a nifty move to avoid Howard’s diving tackle (see, actual, non-sarcastic praise of LenDayne!) and the rest of the Oakland D can’t get there in time to prevent the first down. The “analyst” talks about how White “has to get more involved in the passing game,” because he has “good hands,” “good feet,” and “can make people miss in the open field.” I admit to having less than perfect vision, but I don’t recognize this “LenDale White” person.
T46 1 10 Weak I, 2-TE Strong Run 11 White Stretch
Some bad work by the Raiders here, and some beautiful blocking. The play an overload to the strong side, and blitz an LB up the middle. The 4 DLs are also in the middle, which leaves 4 defenders in the area, plus a deep S. 4 Titan blockers take care of the 4 defenders, and White gets brought down by the first guy to hit him, Schweigert, though he does manage to fall forward for 2 yards and the first down. If White can sidestep the former Boilermaker, he has at least 5 more yards and may have a shot at a TD.
O43 1 10 Standard 2-TE, 2-WR Right Run 3 White Iso
Blah, short run left side.
O40 2 7 I-Formation Run 0 Henry Iso
O40 2 7 Penalty 5 OAK-Kelly Offside
The Raiders stuff the middle of the line well on this play, aided by Kelly getting an early jump. Fisher makes the right call on 2&2 v. 3&7.
O35 2 2 2-TE Strong Run 13 Henry Cutback
What a beautiful cut by Henry here. There’s not much up the middle at first, and it looks like the Raiders with 8 in the box have this play stuffed. Then, on the right side, Hartsock(!) shifts from one defender to the other, and Henry has a lane to run through. He cuts back to it (almost a real, honest-to-goodness jump cut), and bursts through the hole. He gets about 5 extra yards because DB Routt takes a bad angle on the play.
O22 1 10 Standard 2-TE Run 5 Henry Cutback
8 in the box again, and the Titans pick up 5 yards. Nice job by Huff, who got caught up in the trash on the previous play, to adjust to the inside cutback lane from his outside contain responsibility and stop Henry.
O17 2 5 3-WR, Slot Weak Pass Inc Troupe Out & Up
Where the split end on the slot side is Hartsock and the SE on the other side is Troupe. How does Troupe get this wide open? “Yes, Deion, it’s a double move,” and Alston bites on it, big-time. He’s wide open, and VY’s pass can’t connect. How good of a pass this was has already been debated. See Andrew’s thoughts, my thoughts in the comments section, and, just for grins, I’ll give you a real-time excerpt:
[12:35] [NewsToTom] open Ben Troupe drops TD pass
[12:35] [NewsToTom] pass a little overthrown, but Troupe was wide open, Gannon blaming VY
[12:35] [wbarnwell] that was a young overthrow, not a troupe drop
[12:36] [NewsToTom] Troupe slowed down with the pass in the air rather than keep running
[12:36] [wbarnwell] he slowed down to look back and catch the ball
[12:36] [wbarnwell] young should’ve put it in that spot
where I am NewsToTom and wbarnwell is Bill Barnwell of Football Outsiders. After watching the play another half-dozen times, I’ve decided the blame here is almost entirely Troupe’s. Once VY throws the ball (excellent timing on the throw, right when it should be), Troupe appears to stop running as hard as he was. This means that he’s late coming to where the pass is supposed to be, letting it fall incomplete. Gannon knows that passes this wide open have to be complete, but VY didn’t know when he threw the pass just how wide open Troupe would be. And if Alston has decent coverage on Troupe, that’s exactly where you want the pass to be, where Troupe has a legitimate chance to catch it and there’s no chance for an INT. The problem, of course, and why I can’t always blame Troupe, is that a pass this good has been a rarity for VY, especially this year. His deeper passes haven’t always been crisp, on time, and accurate, instead being late and underthrown-if the pass is late and underthrown, Troupe’s in a better position to catch that ball. Errors compounding upon errors to create more errors. (DO), and it really feels like a while since I’ve written that.
O17 3 5 Shotgun Trips Right Run 0 Young QB Draw
As the official scorer properly noted, this is a QB run, not a scramble on a pass play-you can tell because the linemen go downfield immediately. The play probably should work for a first down, except that Kelly beats Olson and VY can’t get out of the backfield without getting hit.
Drive Notes: FG, 3-3, 1Q 1:18. A couple good runs, a third down conversion, but the drop costs the team 4 points, and that’s what happens to bad offensive team.
T48 1 10 Shotgun 4-WR Pass 8 Scaife Slant
Scaife lines up split wide right and VY hits him on a little 7 yard slant route. The ball is placed between two defenders, but Scaife has to dive to catch it, but obviously limited the YAC possibility. And Scaife isn’t the best guy on a route like this-you’d prefer Gage or Roydell, who might break a tackle, or Davis, who might dodge the defender. (CA)
O44 2 2 I-Form, 2-TE Run 1 White Cutback
Short run right side. It looks like White gets the first down on the second effort, but he’s ruled just short.
O43 3 1 2-TE Strong Run -1 White Iso
And on that third and really short play, Morrison bursts up through the middle and tackles White for a loss. Tough to do something with an LB is able to meet you in the backfield like this.
Drive Notes: Punt, 3-3, 2Q 14:13. Two runs, 0 net yards. Tough to convert 2&2 when you do that.
T32 1 10 2-TE Strong, Weak I Run 6 White Counter
The counter makes its first appearance this game, and it’s a pretty good one. In fact, the reason White gets only 6 yards on this play is because he can’t get his feet (read trips?) over the defender on the ground, then falls forward.
T38 2 4 Weak I, 2-TE Strong Run 17 White Counter
T38 2 4 Penalty -10 Mawae Holding
And after the counter puts in an appearance, it’s another counter run, albeit one of a slightly different type-almost more of a wide outside cutback Obviously, all my play terminology knowledge comes from (a) video games and (b) making stuff up, but I figure (a) is more and more popular these days. The Mawae hold is because Mawae tackles the DT, who may otherwise have tackled White for a loss of 1 or so.
T28 2 14 Weak I Pass -7 Young Sack
VY never has a chance on this play. Sapp beats Olson (-1) right at the snap and comes straight up the middle. By the time VY takes his drop, Sapp is already about to bring him down, and there’s nowhere for VY to go. (PR)
T21 3 21 Shotgun Strong Pass 43 Gage Hitch & Go
T21 3 21 Penalty -10 Gage Pass Interference
Decent little play design-at the start it looks like the hitch they like to run for Gage out of the slot, but he turns upfield. Compared to what sometimes isn’t called, this OPI call is really rinky-dink, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a legit call. The pass, coming on a rollout with a defending coming after VY isn’t a bad one, but I’m not sure how open Gage would be if he doesn’t push off. (CA)
T11 3 31 Shotgun Strong Run 6 Henry Draw
“You don’t have a play for 3&31.” Sure, you do, and it’s called the “draw play,” aka the “give up play.” After two costly offensive penalties to wipe out big gains, picking up a couple yards and getting the offense off the field doesn’t sound like a bad idea.
Drive Notes: Punt, 3-6, 2Q 2:35. Penalties can be drive-killers. And these were.
T7 1 10 Weak I, 2-TE Strong Run 8 White Iso
Call this one karmic justice for White’s trip earlier-he falls over the defender and lineman in the hole and picks up 8 yards when he should have had 3 or so. Of course, I would have rather had the 15 the previous play and the 3 on this one, but that’s the way life happens sometimes.
T15 2 2 Weak I, 2-TE Strong Run 6 White Stretch
Against 9 in the box, what do you do out of a 2-TE, 2-RB set? Run to the outside! No, the outside where the Raiders didn’t really overload the formation. Good blocking nets White a good gain and the Titans a first down.
T21 1 10 Shotgun 4-WR Pass 12 Gage Drag
Gage lines up in the slot to the right, then runs a drag and catches the pass on the left hash. He’s able to outrun trailing LB Howard and picks up the first down. (CA)
T33 1 10 Shotgun Base Run 21 White Read Option
VY makes the proper read on DE Burgess, and this time there’s a good lane for White to run up the middle. All White has to do is run forward, and he has almost 15 yards before he’s touched.
O46 1 10 Shotgun Base Pass 7 Gage Out
Gage lines up in the slot and runs a little short out route. VY hits him for a decent gain. (CA)
O39 2 3 Shotgun Base Run 1 White Read Option
VY makes the proper read, and LenDale screws up this play. He sees the Raider LBs playing off, waiting to fill the hole when he takes it. So, he dances right a little, and tries to bounce outside of Stewart and Olson. Except by waiting, he gives Burgess time to close the gap and is tackled after a minimal gain when he should have had the first down. This is a benching offense in my book, and a great example of why I don’t like White.
O38 3 2 I-Form, 2-TE Run -9 Young Sack
O38 3 2 Penalty &-5 Young Delay of Game
9 in the box again, so the Titans decide to pass on 3&1. Fine in theory, but the execution is lousy. The Raiders overload the right side of the Titans’ line, and VY gets taken down by a pretty much unblocked Burgess. White excels in pass protection again, taking the outside guy, Howard, instead of the inside guy, Burgess. Yes, that’s sarcasm. (PR)
Drive Notes: Punt, 3-9, 3Q 7:13. The White parade of excellence rolls on, killing another Titan drive!
T31 1 10 I-Form, 2-TE Strong? Pass 4 Scaife Bootleg
The formation is a guess because CBS is late coming back from commercial. The play is a bootleg off the play action, with Scaife slipping out from his blocking position. The pass is low, but Scaife manages to haul it in and get a couple yards before Howard is able to bring him down. There are worse first down plays out there.
T35 2 6 Strong I, 2-TE Strong Run 27 White Counter
I don’t understand why this play works-you ridiculuously overload one side, then you run that way on the counter. And against 9 in the box, no less. This should be a 1 yard gain, but S Michael Huff takes a terrible angle on the play and doesn’t fill the whole, leaving White to run. He flails at White has he goes by, but aside from that nobody touches White until he’s 25 yards downfield. Good blocking + bad defense = good play.
O38 1 10 Strong I, 2-TE Strong Run 14 White Iso?
This looks like a hint of counter action, but it’s mostly a run at left guard, to use my generic nomenclature from last year. White shows good patience, or maybe there’s just a great running lane (there’s at least a pretty good one), and Howard from the side can’t get a good angle, giving White an extra 6 or so yards. Good run.
O24 1 10 Strong I, 2-TE Strong Run 24-TD Henry Counter
Counter action, this time to the weak side, and the Raider defense can’t adjust to it at all. Good blocking at the point of attack, Gage has a nice block on the CB Asomugha, and then it’s just a footrace to the end zone. Henry beats Howard and Schweigert with the very smart dive (remember, the ball has to be inside the pylon, else it’s not a TD), and that’s 6 points for the team in two-tone blue.
Drive Notes: TD, 10-9, 3Q 2:24. And now it’s time for me to praise the offensive line, and criticize a Raider defense that’s not very good against the run, and saw how nice it is to watch Chris Henry run fast instead of LenDale White run slow.
T20 1 10 Strong I, Standard 2-TE Run 4 White Cutback
Blah, short run middle.
T24 2 6 Weak I, 2-TE Strong Run 1 White Counter
A play in which LenDale White runs inside of his fullback, into the defender, instead of outside his fullback, into the lane where there’s green grass and no defender in front of him. This is another bencahble offense, but only if you have somebody who might not do the same thing.
T25 3 5 Shotgun Strong Pass 6 Young Scramble
It’s a fake of the read option handoff to White, followed by a bootleg. aided by a pulling Olson. VY looks like he’s about to run inside, but pulls back and runs outside, by which point Morrison has lost contain to the outside, allowing VY to pick up the first down. Sapp is credited with the “tackle” for his late hit out of bounds on VY, which is probably the official scorer’s idea of joke, and one I don’t find very funny. Once again, it’s another uncalled roughing the passer committed against Vince Young. One of these days, one of these hits is going to hurt VY, and I (and other Titan fans) are going to blame the NFL for failing to protect VY like they do other QBs. (SCR), not that I’m convinced this couldn’t have been a disguised run.
T31 1 10 ? Run 4 White Cutback?
This play is probably at least half over by the time CBS deigns to show it. So, blah, short run middle.
T35 2 6 I-Form, 2-TE Strong Pass Inc Cramer Bootleg
Cramer is the FB, he’s about 2 yards downfield, covered by Huff. The Raiders have good contain on the boot, so VY looks to Cramer to get rid of the ball. And chucks it way too far for Cramer, out of bounds. Maybe he was throwing the ball away, but there’s no reason to-this pass could have been completed, and maybe Huff misses the tackle and Cramer gets the first down. (IN)
T36 3 6 Shotgun Trips Right Pass Inc White Dumpoff
VY looks, and takes the easy pass to White on the dumpoff. And underthrows it. With Morrison closing, this play may lose yardage and almost certainly doesn’t get the first down, but this is still a putrid throw by VY. (IN)
Drive Notes: Punt, 10-9, 4Q 13:13. Bad throws = punt.
O9 1 G Strong I, 2-TE Strong Run 4 White Counter
Weak counter action, not much different from a run strong side. A couple yards on the play, decent enough.
O5 2 G Weak I Pass Inc Ganther Flat
Ganther slips out from his FB position into the flat. Morrison has coverage responsibility, and he lined up a little to the left of center, so he has a ways to cover. The pass hits Ganther in the chest, and he just flat out drops it. If he snags it, it’s probably a 3 yard gain and the Titans are short of the end zone, but I’d take 3&G from the 1 over 3&G from the 4. (CA)
O5 3 G Trips Left Pass Inc R.Williams In?
Not only trips left, but White motions out of the backfield and is in an H-back position to the right when the ball is snapped. Roydell comes from out of the trips and VY finds him in the end zone, but he can’t bring it in. Good job by VY to motion in the pocket and find the open WR, then put the ball on his chest. This should be a TD. Dead On is considered, but on balance (CA) is deserved.
Drive Notes: FG, 13-9, 4Q 11:26. Way to waste strong field position by not catching the ball, Titans.
T20 1 10 Weak I Run 5 White Stretch
Decent little gain on the left weak run on first down.
T25 2 5 Strong I Run 2 White Counter
And again White runs inside of the blocking instead of running outside of the block where there happens to be a lane. That’s the mark of a marginal NFL RB.
T27 3 3 Weak I, 2-WR Weak Pass 3 R.Williams Curl
The 2-WR are in a stack. Roydell comes off the stack clean and runs a short curl route right at the first down marker. VY hits him, and the Titans have a first down. Simple play, not designed to get anything other than 3 downs and a clock that will continue to move, but it worked. (CA)
T30 1 10 Weak I, 2-TE Strong Run 3 White Counter
Does he do this just to annoy me? White again runs to the inside of his blocking when there’s open space to the outside. Sure, maybe if he runs to the outside, he’s pushed out of bounds. But there are more than 5 minutes left, so the clock re-starts anyway. Maybe you get 7 yards instead of 3, and then it’s easier to get another first down and burn some more clock. Be a good back, LenDale, please. Confound my years of observation to the contrary.
T33 2 7 Weak I, 2-TE Strong Run -4 White Stretch
Cramer at FB sucks. He’s too slow to get to the corner and block Morrison, and Howard beats his block. White tries to string the play out, which may have worked against the Oregon States of the world, but won’t work in the NFL. Just run upfield and get as much as you can. Don’t try to make something happen when you can’t.
T29 3 11 Shotgun Trips Right Pass 3 Young Scramble
I suspect the biggest issue with VY’s lack of improvement this year is that he’s under orders not to make mistakes with the ball, and to try to throw the ball here. At the same time, though, he wants to make plays and help his team win. So, he avoids the dumpoff to Henry, which is probably the smart play, in favor of scrambling out of the pocket and trying to find an open WR downfield. He ends up taking off, but there are multiple Raiders between him and the 1D line, and he goes down after only a couple yards. I think VY did the wrong thing here, ergo (BR). In terms of grading justice, I bet I missed a BR elsewhere from lack of information, so I don’t feel bad about this one.
Drive Notes: Punt, 13-9, 4Q 5:44. I have nothing personal against any of the Titans. I don’t know them. They’re all much, much better football players than I was. None of that means I won’t criticize them if I don’t think they did their job right.
T9 1 10 Weak I, 2-TE Strong Run 2 White Cutback
Short run middle.
T11 2 8 Strong I, 2-TE Strong Run -1 Young Fumbled Snap
VY drops the snap. Fortunately, he’s able to get it back, else this could have been disastrous for the Titans.
T10 3 9 4-WR Run 2 White Iso
Short run middle. This play never had a chance of getting a first down-the Titans just wanted to run clock and force the Raiders to use their last TO. I don’t like this sort of give-up play-if you get a first down, the game is almost over.
Drive Notes: Punt, 13-9, 4Q 2:20. Once again, the offense has a chance to seal a win by getting a first down to kill the clock and can’t get the job done. Once is bad enough, but repeating that offense is a sign of a bad offense. I guess I’ll put it in the pile with the rest of the reasons the Titans are bad offensively.

There were also two kneel-downs to finish the clock after the Raiders failed to convert on 4&14, but I don’t chart those.


Written by Tom Gower

November 1, 2007 at 04:54

Posted in Uncategorized

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