(Photo courtesy of Dobson Images)
Week five ended on Monday Night, as the Saints hosted the Minnesota Vikings. The game was a complete disaster for the Saints, doing whatever they could, to try and lose that game. Drew Brees, was hurried, and hit quite a few times. The Offense for New Orleans could not hold on to the football, nor could they sustain many drives. Their Special teams aside from Reggie Bush, was terrible. After I watched the game a second time, it seemed more to be that the Minnesota players were at the right place at the right time.
Will the Saints be able to rebound after a short week? Going up against a team that has had two weeks to get healthy, will make it seem a lot harder.
With the Raiders having the bye week, it was "pretty" successful. We installed a new Head Coach, watched two of the three teams in our division lose again, and the Raiders have gotten Justin Fargas back fro his injury in week 2.
Tom Cable, told the team as well as the media, that we were going to establish a more balanced offense. JaMarcus Russell will have chances to make plays. A LOT of plays. Kiffin seemed overly conservative with Russell. If he missed a throw, or the receiver dropped the ball, Kiffin was too quick to abandon the passing game.
Maybe Cable will tell Russell, "We need you to go out there and make some plays." Let Russell have some freedom, let him establish a rhythm passing the football for once. How else are we supposed to strengthen our passing game, if you do not give it a fair chance to work.
For example, Trent Edwards in Buffalo, also a young quarterback that is growing into the mold of a quality passer. But how many times to they let him throw the ball? The same thing goes with Jay Cutler, he has been given a free roam of the playbook. These are things that build up the QB's confidence, showing him that you believe he can get it done.
The Oakland Raiders running a balanced playbook? Tom Cable has the right idea. Make the opponent be ready for a run first team, and come out throwing on first downs at the beginning of the game. We may have to mix up the receiving corps just a bit, and allow Chaz a chance to be our deep play guy.
In this weeks matchup, I for one, think the Raiders have a good chance at keeping this one close, and if it comes down to field goals, I believe we would have the advantage. There will be a few key factors in this matchup. One being the wideouts for the Saints, David Patten and Robert Meachum, and Marques Colston. They will have a tough time against the Raiders secondary, and may try to run the ball more then they have recently.
So my thinking leads me to believe that the Saints will try to run steadily against our Defense, but It is easier said than done. Surprisingly, this season, it has been our run Defense that has stood up, and can be a big game changer come Sunday. Our front line defensively will rattle Brees up, and cause him to check down or make errant throws. Our defense should have plenty of oppurtunities in this game.
This is definately a winnable game for the Raiders, we will just have to see if they have the intesity under Cable.