Amari Cooper And The Play Action Pass Have Both Returned To The Raider Offense

Derek Carr and offensive coordinator Todd Downing have insisted the Raiders didn’t do anything different offensively against the Chiefs on Thursday night.

Whether or not that is the case, there were at least two very new elements to Downing’s offense.

First, the Raiders got back to utilizing the play-action pass.

According to ESPN Stats and Info, the Raiders used play action only nine times leading into Thursday’s game against the Chiefs. Downing and Carr called play-action passes nine more times against Kansas City, for an average of 9.9 yards per attempt on the night.

The second missing element from the Raiders offense had been Amari Cooper, but he was targeted 19 times against the Chiefs and while 8 were incompletions, the explosive element of the Raiders offense returned when Cooper was more involved.

Cooper more than doubled his entire season output in four quarters against the Chiefs and if the Raiders want to continue the upward trend on offense, Downing needs to place an emphasis on keeping Cooper involved.

He never complains, but Cooper has a history of disappearing from games when he isn’t involved early. He also has a well-documented history of drops, but those often come on quick slants and short throws with velocity. He has always tracked the ball well downfield and is clearly more comfortable running intermediate and deep routes.

For the first time in more than a month, the Raiders finally look like they have an identity again on offense.

It’s roughly the same identity they had a year ago, but who’s complaining?

twitter: @raidersbeat