PFF: Raiders TE Darren Waller Getting Open More Than Any Pass-Catcher in the NFL

Since the loss of Henry Ruggs, the Raiders have struggled to find consistency on offense.

Without a dynamic deep threat on the field, defenses have been more aggressive in coverage and so far it’s been working. Raider wide receivers have had difficulty creating separation on routes and solutions have seemingly been hard to come by.

Luckily for the Raiders, they still have a dynamic receiver on the roster… he just happens to be listed as a tight end.

Darren Waller is widely considered the second-best tight end in the NFL, but for whatever reason the Raider offense hasn’t been leaning on Waller or found creative ways to get him more involved. Prior to Ruggs release, Waller was averaging 8.83 targets per game. He is averaging 9.0 targets in the two games since.

According to Pro Football Focus, Waller is getting open against man coverage on 66.7 percent of his routes – by far the highest rate in the NFL (and that figure includes wide receivers).

Arjun Menon on Twitter: “Top 5 and Bottom 5 receivers at getting open vs single man coverage as charted by PFF’s data team. Didn’t want to start OBJ discourse back on the TL but thought this was noteworthy. / Twitter”

Top 5 and Bottom 5 receivers at getting open vs single man coverage as charted by PFF’s data team. Didn’t want to start OBJ discourse back on the TL but thought this was noteworthy.

A lot has happened in the last two months, but in the season opener the Ravens threw all types of coverages at Waller and Derek Carr still targeted him 19 times.

Moving forward, any less than 10 targets for Waller seems like a gift to the defense. One way or another, Waller needs to be the focal point of the Vegas offense again. If defenses are keying on him, the Raiders have more than enough capable offensive minds in the building to figure out a way to make them pay.

twitter: @raidersbeat


2 thoughts on “PFF: Raiders TE Darren Waller Getting Open More Than Any Pass-Catcher in the NFL

  1. Just more proif Derek Carr sucks
    Darren do yourself a favor and goto anothernteam Raiders management along with raider fans are two igorant to realize Carr is the reason you fail every year

  2. I’ve been a Raiders fan since 1968 and I know my team. I could address past decisions but that would not help fix the edition of the Raiders. So, I will address how the Raiders can “fix” this season and possibly, or not, get into the playoffs this year. Effective immediately, allow Marcus Mariota to start. What harm could it do and the Raiders need a boost, right now. Now is the time to see if Mariota can offer a spark of renewed optimism to this team. Further, unless you are a believer that Derek Carr is the future of this team, the Raiders need to look at all the options available to them. Or, to quote the late great Al Davis, “…the greatness of the Raiders is their future.” Since I’m talking about Raiders quarterbacks here, I’ll go all in. If the Raiders are serious about making Derek Carr their quarterback of the future, serious consideration needs to be given to the detailed video done by Kurt Warner, this past summer, detailing what Derek Carr needs to do to improve his efficiency and productivity.

    I said, in a previous comment, that Darren Waller is like an old comfortable pair of jeans relative to Derek Carr’s targeting him in the offense but that Derek Carr has a relatively brand new pair of jeans that he needs to start breaking in, 23 year old Foster Moreau. Last year, Jason Witten took Foster Moreau’s snaps and now is the time for this current edition of the Raiders to go retro to a philosophy that they successfully employed in the past with Raymond Chester and Dave Casper and Todd Christensen, the double tightend formation and target Foster Moreau more. Additionally, everyone of the Raiders wide receivers needs to be targeted more, not just the select few that get targeted every week. Dillon Stoner, Marcell Ateman and Zay Jones all should be targeted at least once, if not twice per quarter even if they don’t make a catch. Why??? because every team’s defensive coordinator knows that Derek Carr only targets three receivers every game, Darren Waller, Hunter Renfrow and Bryan Edwards. Without diversity, the Raiders continually set themselves up as the most dreaded word in pro football, predictable.

    In case anyone is watching or keeping score, it took the Kansas City Chiefs 50 years before they repeated as champions. The Green Bay Packers had a 30 year drought before they repeated as champions. The Miami Dolphins are 47 years removed from a championship and currently, the Raiders are in a 38 year drought. Obviously, the current edition of the Raiders are in a transitional phase and that transitory phase needs to be accelerated. To me, that entails better play calling, better management and better scouting. Whether anyone agrees with me or not, one thing is for certain, the Raiders have been trending downwards for some time now, change is inevitable and if the Raiders are to return to championship form, wholesale changes need to be made, top to bottom or the Raiders will continue to be bottom feeders for years to come. See the Detroit Lions and New York Jets.

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