What was heard, was certainly surprising, both to the reporters themselves and to NFL media as a whole.
Baker Mayfield on the game-winner: "To be honest, I was completely shocked they lined up in press coverage with 15 seconds left." https://t.co/VEj06GRghX
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) December 9, 2022
Mayfield’s post-game presser involved new analyst and former NFL quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick.
When discussing the Raiders’ defensive collapse, Mayfield mentioned the fact that the Raiders were in press coverage.
Press coverage, for context, is typically when a defensive back is playing very close to an opposing receiver.
This type of coverage is typical on third down, and it typically assists in locking down a player, limiting their chances of gaining a first down.
What Were The Raiders Thinking?
In a situation like the one the Raiders were facing at the end of this game, conventional wisdom would have the defense line up in prevent coverage, which doesn’t allow for big plays.
However, when they were lined up in press coverage, the Raiders allowed Rams receiver Van Jefferson to slide by the defender for the play that gave up the game-winning touchdown pass.
Mayfield was able to recognize this on the fly, and even though he had less than 48 hours to study the Rams playbook and to meet his receivers, he was able to throw a perfect pass to Jefferson, who made a masterful catch.
The Raiders have blown four double-digit leads this season.
With decisions such as this one to play press coverage when up by six points, it’s not hard to see why they keep squandering leads.