Oakland Raiders Week Nine: Keep/Discard

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper
Nov 5, 2017; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper (89) looks on prior to the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Admit it. You didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when Marshall Newhouse was sent spinning like a helicopter blade in a bizarre third-quarter sequence this past Sunday night.

The Oakland Raiders starting right tackle was at the microcosm of the comedic horror that is the team’s topsy-turvy 4-5 performance thus far.

The only reason Raider Nation can share hearty chuckles, thinking about Newhouse twirling like a top and fumbling at the same time after recovering a sack-forced fumble is because Oakland won 27-24.

Seriously, just try not to laugh reading Newhouse describes the play:

“Well it started good,” Newhouse told Barstool Sports.”They ran like a stunt, and I picked up (Ndamukong) Suh, and then it went bad, and he got past me and he stripped the quarterback. And then it was good, because I made a relatively athletic play and figured, ‘Oh I’ll get some yards back from the mistake that I caused’ — and then it just went really, really bad and I saw a lot of aqua Miami uniforms coming at me. It was just a blur.”

Let’s file that as a discard, shall we?


  • Peppering in Johnny Holton on offense. The speedy special teamer is your classic “just go deep” wide receiver. Holton immolated the Dolphins’ defense for a 44-yard touchdown score.
  • Putting receivers in motion. The play above saw Holton go in motion and line up close to Amari Cooper who manned the slot. Michael Crabtree moved around as well and the Raiders should continue shifting around.
  • Featuring tight end Jared Cook. The veteran has the size and speed to be a matchup nightmare and Oakland did well to put him in a variety of spots to do damage. He finished with 126 yards on eight catches.
  • Balanced offensive attack. Oakland ran the ball 27 times and threw 30. In total the Raiders churned out 379 yards and three scores on offense.
  • Giving rookie Obi Melifonwu snaps. Lining up at the traditional safety spot, nickel corner and tight end eraser, the Raiders gave the athletic freak valuable playing time. The second-rounder finished with three total tackles.


  • The lack of pass rush. Without another legitimate threat, opponents have been able to key on Khalil Mack. Miami QB Jay Cutler was way too comfortable, just like other signal callers who have laughed in the face of a toothless pass rush.
  • Zero interceptions. The Raiders became the first team in the league not to have an interception after nine games. Well, at least Oakland is consistent, right?
  • Penalties. Especially, the double-digit variety. Oakland was flagged for 10 infractions and 105 yards. The Raiders saving grace was Miami getting snagged 11 times for 107 yards.
  • Drops. Quarterback Derek Carr was victimized again his receivers. Seth Roberts, Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper each had butterfingers on important plays.


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