photo courtesy of Jachdeja
Last week for the Oakland Raiders was dreadful, and provided us with a new outlook on the season. Our beloved Raiders will be a team that has to pick up scraps to pull wins together. During the week the were a lot of contrevsy about the Coaches.
It seemed to be more of the he said she said than a real problem. It still happens to make headlines in Northern California and its decent sized media markets. The coaches have basically been put on the waiver wire without those words actually being said. Which makes this weeks matchup against the Chiefs that much more important, since both Lane Kiffin and Rob Ryan will be possibly looking for an unemployment check next month. After what happened to the Raiders by the Novice offense in Denver, Ryan doesn't look like a good candidate for hire.
What I personally will be on the lookout for on Sunday against the Chiefs in for the defense to rebound bigtime. The point is that the secondary should be able to shutdown any passing game. Not only are the fans aware of this, but so is every other team, as well as the critics who kick us when we are down. Gibril Wilson, hopefully took it upon himself, and his "champion" leadership to bring the secondary up out of their funk. Look for the Raiders defensive backs to have a big impact on this game, and force Kansas City to run the ball.
The Linebackers were forced to drop back into coverage, instead of applying pressure. Even on a few third and long situations the defense put the Broncos in, Ryan didn't blitz the quarterback. Sunday will give us a better look at our 2008 defense that is supposed to be one of the best. With a few more blitzing packages our defense will look way better, and might silence the critics.
Our offense will undoubtedly be a huge change, maybe the biggest from last week. My reasoning is how they finished the game. Russell will play about the same, hopefully a little bit better. The only thing we are asking of him is to control the game, and take care of the ball. In this game the Chiefs shouldn't be able to score at will, giving the Raiders the ability to stick to their game plan, which we all know is run first, pass next. If our running backs can set up short third downs, this should allow Russell to be more effective throwing the ball. Keep the Defense close and take advantage over the top, with a good play action bootleg. The points might be scarce, but we should be more effective in the red zone.
The players I believe will have a big game are:
DeAngelo Hall - He is looking to show why the Raiders paid him, once we rush the QB, there will be passes off target.
Darren McFadden - Look for him to get a few more than 10 touches on Sunday, and hopefully he can get a pass or two in the open field.
Derrick Burgess - His Pass rush skill mixed with some help from the Linebackers may give him the ability to get into the backfield.