Poor Pass Coverage Giving Oakland Raiders Little Margin for Error

The Oakland Raiders should prepare to score 28 points or more to offset poor pass coverage and provide a legitimate chance at victory. That’s not an exaggeration in a pass-happy league with a bold emphasis on scoring.

In today’s league, the term "defenseless receiver" exists, which didn’t apply decades ago. Wideouts have more leeway in running free downfield. Teams should cash in on rule changes that encourage more scoring on offense.

Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave must adopt an aggressive style of play-calling to strive for more touchdowns instead of field goals.

Oakland’s Week 4 matchup against the Chicago Bears illustrates a prime example of how conservative play-calling could essentially sell the offense and the team short on the scoreboard:

Musgrave made the error of waving the white flag once the offense entered field-goal range, knowing the Bears would have one more chance to score.

He made the decision to settle for a field goal, which gave the Raiders the lead by one point and put tremendous pressure on a weak pass defense.

The Raiders must play to win, instead of playing to hold onto a lead. Hindsight is always 20/20, but the Raiders didn’t have their No. 1 cornerback on the field.

Bears kicker Robbie Gould had already nailed a 54-yard field goal earlier in the quarter. There’s a higher probability of keeping a team out of the end zone compared to holding an offense outside field-goal range. Musgrave decided to play it safe, and the plan backfired. 

Fortunately, the Raiders have the personnel on offense to push the envelope in the scoring department.


Commitment to Excellence

The NFL doesn’t measure moral victories, but there’s something to learn from every game regardless of the outcome. At times, the good becomes lost in defeat.


About the Author