The Las Vegas Raiders kicked their season off last Sunday with a 24-19 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. From the Raiders’ perspective, the game was mostly a disappointment. Be that as it may, there were a few bright spots from the season opener, most notably second-year cornerback Nate Hobbs.
He had a terrific game, and it certainly merits a film breakdown of some of his most important plays, which highlight his notable outing.
The Las Vegas Raiders have a star in DB Nate Hobbs
This was the first major play from Hobbs, and it’s just sensational. Hobbs starts the play lined up at slot corner, but then begins to move inside before the snap. This shows he’ll be blitzing. His job would be to head straight inside on the blitz, but Hobbs makes a terrific read, recognizing the sweep coming to his side. He takes a great angle to the ball carrier and makes the tackle for a loss.
Another beauty from Nate Hobbs
In this next play, Nate Hobbs is lined up at cornerback near the bottom of the screen. The Raiders are in a Cover 2 here, so Hobbs’ responsibility is the flat area. He makes the correct decision as the play begins by following No. 7.
Once he realizes he has help with that player from a safety over the top, Nate adjusts and comes towards the receiver in the flat, as the ball is on the way. Hobbs gets in position, and makes a great hit, helping to force a fumble. In a bit of bad luck, that fumble goes straight out of bounds. Still, this is an excellent play from Hobbs, and it shows his ability to think and react quickly on the field.
On this play, Hobbs is lined up near the top of the screen, again at slot corner. The Raiders’ defense is in a Cover 3, and it looks like Hobbs’ responsibility is the hook/curl area. He fills the correct area as the play begins, and quickly spots the running back coming out of the backfield. Nate notices Herbert turn his way, reads his eyes and flies to the receiver. He gets there just after the ball, and quickly brings him down. Hobbs quick instinct and reaction helped limit this play to being a gain of just a couple yards, when it could have been far worse.
This play is simply excellent from Nate Hobbs.
This play comes with just a couple minutes left in the game. The Chargers are up five, and this was third down and just a couple yards. If Las Vegas wanted any chance to get the ball back and win the game, it had to start with a stop on this play. The Raiders are in a straight up Cover 1 on this play, with every corner playing man coverage and a safety over the top. Hobbs sticks to his man like gorilla glue, and forces the pass breakup, giving his offense a chance to take the lead. This is just a terrific play from Hobbs.
Hobbs had a very good rookie year, and he continued that trend with an impressive performance in Week 1. Hobbs showed his raw athletic ability, as well as his ability to think on his feet and react quickly as well. Nate looked like a bright spot on this defense, and the team will need him to continue this level of play throughout the season.