Anatomy of a Play  

 

Raiders use lesson from previous loss to pick off Texans

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  • By Paul Monusky NFL Films
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In Week 2 , the Oakland Raiders were leading the Buffalo Bills by four points with 18 seconds left in the game. Facing a fourth-and-1 on the Raiders' 6-yard line, the Bills used a three-receiver route combination to confuse Oakland's defense. The result was a touchdown pass to a wide open David Nelson. Oakland lost, 38-35.

On Sunday, the Raiders faced an eerily similar situation. Oakland led Houston, 25-20, with 6 seconds remaining. The Texans had the ball on the Raiders' 5-yard line, and called for the same route combination that had beaten Oakland in Week 2.

This time, however, the Raiders played it perfectly. They jammed tight end Joel Dreessen at the line of scrimmage and blanketed primary wide receiver Kevin Walter as he cut toward the middle of the end zone.

With his first option well-covered, quarterback Matt Schaub rolled to his left. He momentarily had a clear path to run in for the winning score, but Raiders safety Tyvon Branch quickly recognized this and sprinted to cut off Schaub's path to the end zone.

Schaub's last hope was wide receiver Jacoby Jones, who was one-on-one with Raiders safety Michael Huff in the corner of the end zone. Jones saw Schaub scrambling his way, and worked back toward his quarterback. But Huff also read Schaub, and made a good break on the quarterback's ill-fated pass, stepping in front of Jones to secure the interception and the win.

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