FanPost

Oakland Raiders Game: A Long Con?

So this is purely speculative at the moment, and it won't be until the end of the season that I can point back and say, "Neener, neener, I told you so," but this theory has crossed my mind more than a few times since Sunday's game.

Imagine you're the Colts. You're playing the Raiders, right? You know effectively nothing about their QB, the defense has nine new starters, (I think, tbh that's just the number I recall getting told hundreds of times during the game; I did not research that.) and you have Andrew Luck on your team. You don't necessarily know how to game plan against their team, but you do know your quarterback can probably just outplay them, because he's awesome.

Now I understand people in the NFL say, "You gotta focus on the next game," and "One game at a time," and "We're not looking past the Raiders they are an awesome franchise I would probably vote for Pryor as MVP and that one guy whose name I might remember from 11 years ago as defensive player of the year something something something 'storied franchise.'" The reason why they say all that garbage? Because they absolutely look past teams all the time.

I say all of this because I've read many things after the Raiders game. Things along the lines of calling the defense "vanilla," criticizing the play calling, etc. Greg Cowan of Colts Authority perhaps says it the best,

Unfortunately, the Colts don't use their running game as this beautiful supplement for Andrew Luck and their passing game. Instead, the running game seems like... a separate entity? The Colts have two offenses: their passing offense and their running offense. When they want to pass the ball, they lineup with either 2 or 3 WRs, 1 or 2 TEs, and 1 RB. When they want to run the ball, they come out with at least 2 TEs (sometimes a 6th OL/3rd TE), 1 WR, and sometimes a FB. Their pass formations scream "pass" and their run formations scream "run." ...

...The absolute best offenses in the NFL have a synergy: the pass feeds off of the run and the run feeds off of the pass. They do this, generally, by running a bunch of plays that "look the same." If the defense can't look at the pre-snap formation and tell if it's a run or a pass, it makes it harder for them to defend the play. By utilizing two unique sets of formations for both actions (running and passing) you're removing the best parts of being able to run and pass.

My theory effectively takes this observation and applies stupid levels of homerism to what must surely be the greatness of Pep Hamilton (and/or Chuck Pagano): He called really obvious plays entirely on purpose. Why? Because Oakland sucks.

I mean, people were screaming about Spider 2 Y Banana the second we hired Pep, so what're the odds that he thought, "Deception in offensive formations works in college, but is dumb in the NFL. I will never deceive my opponent, this much I vow." It is more likely, in my opinion, that both offensive and defensive plays were called in terms of achieving the bare minimum, and deceiving future opponents. You can be pretty sure Miami is looking at Colts tape thinking, "I have discovered they always run in this formation! Time to buy exotic cars and use totally legal pharmaceuticals in classy late night establishments!" Perhaps not those thoughts verbatim, but you can't tell me they aren't thinking, "Wow, the Colts are really determined to run the football and look like effing morons. Good for us!" and then they'll be met with, "BOOM PASS TO FULLBACK OMG LATERAL TO TY HILTON FOR THE TOUCHDOOOOOOOOWN!" Or, you know, maybe just a little more play action.

Anyhow, you get the point, but I'd be willing to bet the defense was on the same page. No point in showing exotic blitzes against a QB who can't tell the difference anyways. When the opponent's offensive strategy seems to be, "Design a play with one passing option, and then hope and pray it either works or your QB will turn something into nothing," you can't really blame Pagano for going "vanilla." We won with vanilla. It was awesome to win with vanilla. If you can win with vanilla in the NFL, you should win with vanilla. Save your fancy flavors for teams that need them. Basically, lol @ Houston for giving up their super secret FAKE PUNT ON 4TH AND 1 OMIGOSH THEY ACTUALLY WENT FOR IT HOW SNEAKY against the Chargers.

Edit: Quote margins were dumb.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors.

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