Raiders blitzed less vs. Eagles, got burned when they did

Raiders blitzed less vs. Eagles, got burned when they did
November 4, 2013, 4:30 pm
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The Raiders only blitzed Eagles quarterback Nick Foles 11 times on Sunday, according to STATS. (USATSI)

ALAMEDA – The Raiders have played a blitz-happy defense all season. Added pressure has been an effective tool for a defense that had 21 sacks from 14 sources over seven games.

It didn’t help much during Sunday’s 49-20 loss to Philadelphia. In fact, it backfired.

According to STATS, the Raiders averaged 20.5 blitzes per game in seven contests. On Sunday, that number dropped to 11, which could be due to the Eagles’ success against it.

STATS reported that the Eagles completed 6-of-9 passes for 52 yards and three touchdowns when Raiders brought at least one extra man.

The Raiders relied heavily on three or four players rushing the passer on Sunday. They mixed up their attack and blitzed at times, but focused on coverage during a day where little went right defensively.

The Raiders had been getting production from their front four winning individual battles, especially Lamarr Houston and Vance Walker. Houston didn’t flush the pocket all game against Eagles left tackle Jason Peters. Walker played just 30 snaps due to receiver-heavy Eagles formations, but didn’t generate havoc on the interior.

“I don’t believe we got enough pressure on him,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. “I thought he was able to stand in the pocket, and then when we did do some things to flush him out of the pocket he was able to make plays down the field.”

Starting quarterback Nick Foles had a field day against the Raiders. He threw for 406 yards and tied an NFL record with seven touchdown passes in a single game.

“Obviously hindsight’s always 20/20, and if I knew he was going to be that effective in throwing the ball down the field maybe we could have brought a few more pressures and maybe affected him,” Allen said. “There wasn’t a whole lot we did in that game that did a lot to affect him.”