Game Analysis Week 3: Broncos 23, Raiders 3

I went and re-watched the game courtesy of NFL.com.

I decided to write tally marks for each play a player made, good and bad. Below are my totals. I realize there is some subjectivity, but it isn’t that hard to see a guy hold a block, make an open field tackle or get a first down after 10+ yards. Penalties, turnover, etc are easy minus marks.

Defense:
57 Ricky Brown +7 (+8,-1)
52 Kirk Morrison -4 (+4,-8)
33 Tyvon Branch +3 (+6,-3)
92 Richard Seymour +2 (+5,-3)
93 Tommy Kelly -6 (+0,-6)
61 Gerrard Warren -3 (+2,-5)
91 Trevor Scott +3 (-0,+3)
90 Desmond Bryant +0 (+1,-1)
21 Nnamdi Asomugha +3 (+4,-1)
34 Mike Mitchell +4 (+4,-0)
53 Thomas Howard +2 (+3,-1)
26 Stanford Routt -1
24 Michael Huff +1
99 Greg Ellis -1
37 Chris Johnson -3
77 Matt Shaughnessy +1

Total: +15 – Keep in mind a positive number doesn’t mean we played well. It means some individuals played well and 10% (as Tom Cable implied) brought down the group. My calculations above support about 20% of guys not stacking up.

Ricky Brown was all over the place. Great game. Cable mentioned it and it stands out on film. Kelly, Warren and the offensive line stood out in a bad way. Morrison’s bad numbers were the result of having to cover Marshall and Gaffney in the middle zone. He sank too deep, but that is going to be hard for him regardless.

Special Teams:
54 Sam Williams -1
19 Todd Watkins -1
Total: -2 – Not much of a chance for this group to shine.

Offense:
66 Cooper Carlisle -2
44 Luke Lawton -1
12 Darrius Heyward-Bey -1
74 Cornell Green -1 (+1,-2)
18 Louis Murphy +1 (+2,-1)
51 Chris Morris -3
80 Zach Miller +0 (+1,-1)
72 Erik Pears -1
2 JaMarcus Russell +2 (+4,-2)
20 Darren McFadden +1 (+4,-3)
29 Michael Bush +1 (+2,-1)

Total: -4 – The fact that there was both so few to look at and also so little production isn’t indicative of a winning offense. Some of you will look and wonder how Russell received a +2. Well, because he made about 4 good plays and two poor ones (only one of them being an interception. The other went to DHB).

McFadden stuck out. When he ran, he was racking up + tally marks. The fumbles killed him and the team. Down 20-3 with five minutes remaining in the 3rd, the Raiders defense came up big forcing a Buckhalter fumble.

If the Raiders punch it in from the 2-yard-line after the McFadden run, a 20-10 game and a potential momentum shift was possible. Instead, McFadden’s fumble gave Denver the ball back and the game was a rout the rest of the way.

In a normal game these numbers should be much higher by my estimate. Quarterbacks at +15-20. Running backs with +5-10. Receivers with +5-10. Lineman consistently +3-7. Linebackers with all the open field tackles and gap filling should be +7-10. The secondary shouldn’t be getting so many tally marks for open field tackles and I’d want to see a low plus tally for a DB around +3-5. The defensive line at least +5 each. Stuffing runs, sacks, tackles, holding the point, filling gaps, etc. +5 easy.

It is too easy to point at Russell. It is easy enough to point out things that killed the Raiders as a team. You can also see a lot of positives. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought. Outplayed, absolutely. It happens.

There was no rhythm on offense and that was because the Raiders couldn’t run the ball. Why? The Raiders lost the line battle all day. The Raiders also turned the ball over. When you do those things you aren’t going to win.

Russell actually did a much better job with pocket awareness, reads, etc from what I know about it all. He had two overthrows (one on his second interception). I feel like he could be ready for a breakout game. Call me crazy.

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