So I'm not talking about last week. I think pretty much everyone reading this took the fattest of Ls as no one could have expected that performance unless they were in possession of the sports almanac like Biff in Back to the Future Two. Instead, we will be looking to the future and the debut of our lovely alternate helmet. Just a shame we have to wear it with the pyjama greys. Imagine how much better they'd look with a black uniform...
The Raiders offence is varied insomuch as they use a lot of personnel groupings. In fact, they have used four sets on more than 5% of their offensive snaps. The most common of these is of course 11 personnel, which they use on 60% of their plays for -0.02 EPA per play on a 79% pass rate. They use 21 personnel, usually with their fullback as that second back, on 18% of plays, passing the ball on 51% of these plays for -0.02 EPA/play. Las Vegas also use 12 personnel on 9% of their plays, running the ball on 59% of these plays for -0.34 EPA/play. The Raiders also use 1-1-2 (one RB, one TE and two WRs) personnel packages on 6% of their plays for -0.44 EPA/play on a 42% pass rate. Overall, the Raiders offence passes the ball on 65% of their offensive plays for -0.08 EPA/play.
McDaniels has announced that it will be Jimmy G under centre for Las Vegas on Monday night. In his five games so far, Jimmy has attempted 147 passes on 161 dropbacks, completing 100 of them (68.0%) for 7.3 yards per attempt, an 8.6-yard average depth of target, a 1.3% big-time throw rate, a 2.9% turnover-worthy play rate, a 75.4% adjusted completion rate, fifty-seven first downs, seven touchdowns and eight interceptions, earning him a nice 69.0 passing grade from PFF.
There is barely any difference between Jimmy's grades whether he is blitzed or not. On the 33.5% of the dropbacks he is blitzed, his passing grade is better by 0.3 points, his completion rate drops by ten percent, his yards per attempt increases by nearly two yards, his ADOT increases by nearly three yards, his adjusted completion rate falls by nearly fifteen percent, his time to throw drops by 0.02 seconds and his turnover worthy rate decreases by 1.5%. Both of his big-time throws have come against the blitz as well. However, there is a stark difference between his grades between when he is and isn't pressured. When Jimmy is under pressure, his passing grade nearly halves to 40.5, both his traditional and adjusted completion rates drop by forty percent, his ADOT increases by three yards, his yards per attempt nearly halves to 4.5 yards, his turnover-worthy play rate quadruples to 6.5% but his time to throw increases by half a second to 3.20 seconds.
Jimmy is at his worst targeting the left-hand side of the field. At all four levels of the field, his passing grade drops when he throws outside the hashes on his blindside, especially when compared to his throws over the middle. For instance, when targeting the intermediate middle of the field, Jimmy has a 91.7 grade, but when he targets the intermediate left he has a 32.6 grade. Cam Sutton usually lines up on the left according to PFF, so this inconsistency in grade could continue on Monday night. As you can guess, Jimmy is best targeting the middle of the field according to PFF. Given what happened last week to our defence on crossing routes, this is a good matchup for Jimmy to exploit.
At receiver, Adams is still wrecking teams with an 80.7 receiving grade. He has been targeted seventy-one times for forty-six catches (64.8%), 11.5 yards per reception (3.1 yards after the catch per reception), a 10.4-yard ADOT, 2.17 yards per route ran, a 26.7% contested catch success rate (4/15), two drops, three interceptions, four missed tackles forced, thirty-one first downs and three touchdowns. On the other side, Jakobi Meyers has been pretty good. He has caught thirty-seven catches on fifty-six targets (66.1%), 10.4 yards per reception (2.1 after the catch), 1.77 yards per route ran, a 10.6-yard ADOT, a drop, a 70% contested catch success rate (7/10), three forced missed tackles, twenty-three first downs, four interceptions and five touchdowns; earning him a 74.0 grade. In the slot, Hunter Renfrow has been unproductive, to say the least. He has been targeted twelve times for eight catches (66.7%), 9.1 yards per reception (1.6 yards after the catch), 0.59 yards per route ran, an ADOT of 8.3 yards, one drop, five first downs and a 51.6 receiving grade.
At tight end, rookie Michael Mayer has been consistent but boring with a 65.0 grade. He has caught two-thirds of his targets (10/15), getting 12.9 yards per reception (6.7 after the catch), 1.14 yards per route ran, an 8.0-yard ADOT, one drop, a 66.7% contested catch success rate (2/3), three forced missed tackles, seven first downs and one interception. Former Georgia Bulldog Zamir White has been the Raiders' third-down back. He has caught all six of his targets for 6.3 yards per catch (3.8 yards after the catch), a 2.5-yard ADOT, 1.90 yards per route ran, a perfect contested catch success rate on his one such target, two first downs and a 76.1 receiving grade.
Kolton Miller has come into his own at left tackle, especially at left tackle. He has a 97.7% pass-block efficiency, giving up nine pressures (three sacks, one quarterback hit and five hurries) for an 85.7 pass-block grade from PFF. On the other side, Thayer Munford Jr. has been worse but still an at least average tackle in pass protection. He has a 97.5% efficiency, having given up a sack and two hurries so far this season. At centre, Andre James has a 70.9 grade from PFF in pass pro, having given up eight pressures (a sack, two hits and five hurries) with a 98.3% efficiency.
Greg Van Roten has been the better of the two guards in the pass game, earning himself a 75.9 grade with a 97.7% efficiency by giving up ten pressures (two sacks, one hit and seven hurries). Dylan Parham has been good in pass protection too though. He has a 98.1% efficiency having given up a sack, two hits and six hurries. In the run game, Munford Jr. has been their best lineman with a 74.0 grade, closely followed by his tackle partner Miller with a 73.5 grade. James has been good in run blocking as well with a 73.8 grade. Parham has a 65.7 run-blocking grade and Van Roten has a 65.0 grade. Overall, the Raiders offensive line has been solid but nothing spectacular.
Former league rushing leader Josh Jacobs hasn't been great running the ball so far this season, earning himself a 61.8 grade from PFF. On his 118 carries, he is averaging 2.9 yards (2.03 yards after contact per carry), twelve missed tackles forced, four runs of over ten yards and two touchdowns. His backup White has toted the ball twelve times for 3.6 yards per attempt (2.50 after contact), two forced missed tackles, one run of over ten yards, a fumble and a 49.4 rushing grade.
The Raiders are best running the ball up the left-hand A-gap, gaining 4.3 yards per carry up this gap. Conversely, they are worst on carries off-left tackle, only gaining a yard a carry up this gap on average.
Overall, this Raiders offence is nothing scary but it is perhaps better than outside perception and base level stats would make you believe. They have a good offensive line, but the backs aren't taking much more than what this line is blocking for them. Jimmy is able to deliver the ball in the quick game and over the middle, but they aren't really challenging defences deep or outside the numbers. Luckily for Aaron Glenn, Jimmy isn't mobile so he should be able to focus just on stopping him passing rather than having to also worry about scrambling, which arguably led to some of his poor scheming last week. With Jerry Jacobs back on the outside, we should have stability in the secondary, allowing the defensive line to just focus on rushing Jimmy.
Las Vegas runs a multiple front by the looks of their personnel stats as while their most common grouping is an even front, both of their other sets that they run on more than 5% of their defensive snaps are odd front looks. Their most common set is 4-2-5 nickel which they use on over three-quarters (76%) of their defensive snaps. They face a pass on 58% of these plays and allow 0.05 EPA/play. Las Vegas also runs a 5-2-4 look on 10% of their snaps, facing a run 67% of the time for -0.01 EPA/play. They also run their defensive coordinator's favourite personnel grouping of 3-3-5 on 7% of their defensive plays, allowing 0.16 EPA/play on an 83% pass rate. Overall, the Raiders face a pass on 57% of their offensive plays for 0.06 EPA/play allowed.
Only two of the Raiders IDLs have played more than one hundred run defence snaps, both of whom have graded out at roughly average according to PFF. The better of these is Bilal Nichols, who has only missed one of his twenty-four tackle attempts (seventeen of which were solo) (4.2% miss rate) and made eight run stops (7% run stop rate) on an average depth of tackle of 2.9 yards for a 64.2 grade. The other is John Jenkins with a 63.5 grade, having also missed one tackle on one less solo tackle (4.3%) but with five more run stops (9.2%) and an average tackle depth of 2.0 yards. Maxx Crosby is the only edge player to have played more than one hundred run defence snaps for Las Vegas, and he has been elite in this area of the game with an 85.2 grade. He has made thirty-three tackles (twenty-one solo) so far this season with an average depth of 3.0 yards and has only missed one (3%), with thirteen of these tackles being run stops (7.1%).
Only Robert Spillane and Divine Deablo have played over the one hundred run defence snap count, with the former Pittsburgh special-teams ace grading out the better of the two. Spillane has made thirty-eight tackles (nineteen solo) but has missed five of them (13.2%) on an average tackle depth of 4.6 yards, with ten of these tackles being run stops (5.2%) for a 71.3 grade. Deablo has a 52.8 grade on the year, having made twenty-six tackles (seventeen solo) and missed one (3.8%) on an average depth of 6.5 yards, with seven of these tackles being run stops (4.7%).
Pass-rushing wise, only two Raiders edge rushers and two interior defenders have played over one hundred and ten pass-rush snaps. Crosby has created forty-three pressures (seven sacks, two quarterback hits and thirty hurries) on a 20.0% pass-rush win rate for a 90.8 pass-rush grade, rushing the passer on all of his passing snaps. Rookie Tyree Wilson has rushed the passer on 99.1% of his passing situation snaps and has created six pressures (one sack, one hit and four hurries) on a 3.7% win rate for a 48.7 grade. On the interior, Nichols has eight pressures (one sack and seven hurries) on a 4.0% win rate for a 52.8 grade, with a 99.2% rush rate. Adam Butler has only rushed the passer on 94.2% of his passing snaps, making six pressures (one sack, one hit and four hurries) for a 5.7% win rate for a 60.7 grade.
In the secondary, Marcus Peters has played the most games. He has been in coverage on all of his snaps on passing downs, being targeted thirty-six times, on an average depth of target of 7.7 yards, for twenty-five completions (69.4%), 10.0 yards per reception (4.2 yards after the catch per reception), four pass breakups, one dropped interception, two touchdowns and a 67.5 grade. On the other side of the field, David Long Jr. has also been in coverage on all of his snaps in passing situations, being targeted nine times on an 11.2-yard ADOT, allowing seven catches (77.8%), 7.9 yards per reception (1.6 yards after the catch) and one forced incompletion for a 73.7 grade. In the slot, Nate Hobbs has a 72.4 grade, playing 92.7% of his passing snaps in coverage. He has been targeted twenty-three times for eighteen receptions (78.3%), a 3.4-yard ADOT, 6.9 yards per reception (5.4 yards after the catch), three pass breakups and one touchdown.
In the safety room, Marcus Epps has been in coverage on 99.2% of his snaps against the pass, allowing seven catches on eight targets (87.5%), 4.9 yards per reception (4.7 after the catch), a 6.9-yard ADOT and one touchdown; giving him a 59.4 coverage grade. Former Horned Frog Tre'von Moehrig has been better in coverage, which he is in on 98.8% of his snaps against the pass. He has been targeted 4.6 yards down the field on average seventeen times, giving up fourteen catches (82.4%), 6.6 yards per reception (4.5 yards after the catch), two pass breakups and a further forced incompletion, two interceptions, a further dropped interception, two touchdowns and a 75.0 grade.
At linebacker, Deablo is showing his wide receiver and safety background by being the better of the starters in coverage. He has been in coverage on 87.0% of his snaps in passing situations, getting targeted twenty-four times on a 4.4-yard ADOT, allowing seventeen catches for 6.8 yards per reception (4.2 after the catch), one pass breakup and one forced incompletion, one touchdown and a 70.6 coverage grade. Beside him, Spillane has been in coverage on 89.2% of his passing snaps, being targeted 3.3 yards downfield on average. He has allowed nineteen catches on twenty-four targets (79.2%), 9.9 yards per reception (7.6 yards after the catch), two interceptions, a dropped interception and a 68.4 grade.
Overall, this Raiders defence is perhaps surprisingly good, but those who have followed their defensive coordinator's career know that he is able to polish a turd. In Graham's time in New York, his defences were always better than the sum of their parts. The case is the same here. While it is not on the same level as the defence we faced last week, this Raiders defence could maybe offer us more problems than you'd expect. The key will be consistency. They give up a high completion percentage but limit yards after the catch, so it will be a dink-and-dunk style passing attack that will have to take the deep shots when the defence offers them. The run game should have an easier go of it than the past two weeks as they won't be facing an elite run-defending lineman, but we should try to not run in Crosby's direction if we can help it. If the runs hit the second level, we should be able to create some explosive plays though.
The Raiders' best special teamer is the backup edge Isaac Rochell, who has an elite 90.5 grade from PFF.
The Raiders' returner, backup receiver DeAndre Carter, has not been good. He has returned five kickoffs for 28.6 yards per pop and a 58.8 grade. Carter also has a 61.0 grade on punt returns, taking nine punts for 9.1 yards a return as well as fair-catching three punts and muffing another.
The elder Carlson (Daniel is the older brother of the Packers kicker Anders) has been average so far on kicks this season. He has a 61.4 field goal grade from PFF, earned by sinking all his extra point attempts and missing both his kicks from beyond fifty yards and one of his kicks between forty and forty-nine yards.
On kickoffs, Carlson has been way better. He has earned a 75.1 kickoff grade, with his kickoffs averaging 3.94 seconds of hangtime and leaving the opposition with an average starting field position of the 25.4-yard line. Only 27.6% of his kickoffs have been returned, with twenty-one going for touchbacks. The eight that have been returned have gone for an average of 22.9 yards.
Punter AJ Cole has been elite this season with an 82.0 grade. His punts average 4.33 seconds of hangtime, 50.1 yards gross, and the aforementioned 47.5 yards net. Thirteen of his twenty-two punts have landed in the twenty-yard line. Only 31.8% of his punts have been returned, as one went for a touchback, three landed out of bounds, two were downed by the Raiders, and nine were fair-caught. Those that were returned were taken for an average of 5.6 yards a pop.
Keys to Victory
Stop the run- This might sound stupid since the Raiders are not good at running the football this year, but stopping the run whenever they try will force them into third-and-longs where our defensive line can just pin their ears back and get after Jimmy.
Take the deep shots- This Raiders secondary is perhaps sneaky good? As I mention above, they really limit yards after the catch. However, with this being their focus, we might be able to sneak a few passes over their heads for big plays. I know Jamo hasn't been the best tracking the ball, but we still have Josh Reynolds and Leaf who can both do work down the field. Use them.
Don't be stupid- I know we see this game as a get-right game for ourselves before we enter our bye, but that does not mean we should force the issue. Just play good, clean football and we'll come out alright. If we start trying to get fancy for the sake of it, it will lead to mistakes. And we all know where mistakes lead you...
Hot Take- After last week's misfirings to open the game, the offence comes out of the gates a lot better this time, scoring on each of their first three drives.
Game Prediction- This team should be fired up in a primetime matchup (albeit in the worst uniform set we have) to get things right after last week's downer. The Raiders perhaps aren't as bad as we thought, but we are still better virtually across the board. However, the injuries on the offensive line limit the offence slightly, making this a lower-scoring game than perhaps we want.
Detroit Lions 27, Las Vegas Raiders 17
How do you think the game will go? Will our Lions right the wrongs of last week, or will the Raiders perform a smash-and-grab on our turf? Who do you think will be the stat leaders, and what will the final score be?
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