To hear the Raiders tell it, shutting down the Rams’ Steven Jackson Sunday had more to do with secruity in numbers than it did any dramatic difference in philosophy or scheme.
Former Raiders defensive coordinator Willie Shaw, when asked about the problems of one-on-one tackling, said the best way to fix it is avoid one-on-one tackles. Get as many players to the ball as possible so if one player gets missed, another follows up.
It was never more evident than in last week’s 76-yard run by Chris Johnson. Tyvon Branch was the lone player with a chance to get one of the league’s best backs, Johnson made him miss, and the Titans had a touchdown.
Jackson has a different style and is tough to bring down with a solo tackle for a different reason.
“He’s big, so he’s going to knock the first guy right off,” Raiders defensive tackle John Henderson said Monday. “You have to make sure everybody’s around him, and that’s what we did. I think we did a great job of that.”
Jackson had eight carries for 56 yards in the first quarter but only 11 carries for 19 yards in the second, third and fourth quarters.
Strong side linebacker Kamerion Wimbley thought the defense fed off the success the offense and special teams was having.
“There were some big plays on offense, big plays on special teams, that helped ignite the defense,” Wimbley said. “We always wanted to focus on swarming the ball, especially with a back as talented as Steven Jackson. You have to put more than one hat on him.
“We just went in and made our halftime adjustments. We saw some things we were doing that was hurting us in the first half and once we made those corrections, I think it put is in a better postion to make plays in the second half.”