Monthly Archives: November 2015

Three ways to seal must win over Tennessee Titans

The 4-6 Oakland Raiders are on a three game losing streak.

Before we all freak out, let’s remember this team 0-10 a year ago. Hence, there has been progress.

To keep that progress alive, the Raiders must defeat the Titans on the road.

Here are three ways Oakland can smoke the Titans.

Run the ball

This was a key for last week’s game, but the Raiders failed against the Detroit Lions.

Latavius Murray only racked-up 28 rushing yards against the Lions. The Raiders needed more third and shorts. They needed to control the clock better.

The same goes for this week. Moreover, the Raiders need Murray and the running backs to kill the clock if they get a lead.

The running game will also help neutralize the Titans’ blitz happy defense.

Cooper must show up

Amari Cooper seems to have hit the rookie wall. He’s dropped some balls and has not made the game-changing plays he made earlier in the season.

Last week, Crabtree was the Raiders only reliable target. This week the Raiders will need to get Cooper going early and often.

Throw him some bubble screens to gain some confidence.

Defense must keep contain

This should probably be the No. 1 key for Sunday’s game. The Raiders let Landry Jones, Teddy Bridewater and Matt Stafford embarrass them with their feet.

Now they face rookie Marcus Mariota who is actually a dynamic scrambler.

The Raiders must limit Mariota’s ability to make plays with his feet.

Oakland’s corners already struggle. They will struggle more if Mariota breaks contain and delivers strikes on the run.

Ultimately, the Raiders should win this game.

However, fans know there is no such thing as an easy win with this young football team.

Advertisements

How the Oakland Raiders can prevent a let down versus the Detriot Lions

The Oakland Raiders (4-5) find themselves playing the Detroit Lions (2-7) a week after they defeated their division rival Green Bay Packers.

Meanwhile, the Raiders are in the middle of a two game losing skid. They are headed to the east coast for a road game against a team they should beat.

Oakland needs to beat Detroit to keep their playoff hopes alive. How can the Raiders prevent letting fans down for a third week?

Here are some key game plan points:

Run the Ball

The Raiders defense is so much better on third and short than they are on third and medium. Hence, they need to find ways to run the ball and get into those short down situations.

That means Latavius Murray needs to get fed consistently. Moreover, the team needs to utilize Taiwan Jones, Jamize Olawale and Marcel Reece.

These three guys all bring different skill-sets that can keep the defense off balance. The Raiders offense failed to find any rhythm last week, but instituting the running game will open up the Raiders play action game.

Further, the Raiders offense staying on the field means the Raiders secondary is not getting beat deep on defense…

Pass Defense

Rushing the passer and playing tight coverage will be equally important this week. The Lions are going to feel confident at home, after defeating the Packers in Green Bay.

The Raiders need to silence that confidence with some takeaways or sacks.

Don’t get it twisted, Matt Stafford will take some chances in the passing game. Ball hawks Nate Allen and Charles Woodson must take advantage.

Also, D.J. Hayden can not get picked on this week. Let’s rephrase that, he can not get down WHEN he gets picked on. Hayden is among the worst rated CBs by PFF, but he needs to find a way to play better against the explosive Detroit receivers.

All of this will be difficult, as the Raiders will be without their second best pass rusher on defense. Aldon Smith is suspended, and the Raiders need to find a pass rusher who can replace him.

Smith was literally just finding his stride with the defense. However, now they will need to find other ways to disrupt Stafford. Like most quarterbacks, Stafford does not like pressure.

The Raiders need to do their best to pressure Stafford, even if that means taking chances with the blitzes.

Play to win

It sounds corny, but the Raiders need to stay aggressive. They are a good team and they need to play to win.

On defense, they need to blitz even if they get beat deep. Forget the prevent defenses if they get a lead.

On offense they need to try to score everytime they have the ball. Forget the screen and draw plays on third and long.

The Raiders are the superior team who should win. They need to play like a team that believes that, if they want to keep their playoff hopes alive.

The AFC West is wide open, and the Raiders need to JUST WIN, BABY!

Aldon Smith catches year ban

Aldon Smith caught a year ban from the league. Here is my initial reaction. As you can tell… I was hot.

Great timing NFL.

Let dude play 9 games, before you decided to suspend him. I get he violated terms of his probation, but really?

Crazy!

Now his contract expires after the year, and he won’t be eligible for reinstatement. He can apply for reinstatement in 300 days. Then the Raiders would have to bid for his services.

 

SMH

Don’t call it a let it down: Oakland Raiders show promise versus Pittsburgh Steelers

The Oakland Raiders set the stage for a huge road win against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Oakland started the game hot by stopping the Steelers’ first drive.  Then the Raider offense got the ball and scored on just a few big plays.

The Steelers seemed to strip the ball from the Raiders every chance they got. Many times the Raiders were saved by the balls.

However, they could not help themselves on a few occasions. Latavius Murray put the ball on the grown after a hit which led to a concussion.

Back and forth, the two teams battled and exchanged big hits. Antonio Brown ran rapid in the secondary. He racked 180 yards just before the half. DeAngelo Williams did not allow the Pittsburgh offense to miss a beat without LeVeon Bell. Williams charged for more than 170 yards game.

Even with their starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the locker room with an ankle injury, the Steelers seized all the momentum at home.

Eventually, the Raiders found themselves with a 14 point deceit, thanks to a Taiwan Jones fumble after a Steelers touchdown. Oakland seemed headed for a loss.

Then they showed something we have not seen in years. Some belief and playoff fight.

Derek Carr threw seven touchdowns and zero interceptions in the previous two games. Hence, he was due for one.

Nonetheless, he lead a drive that brought the Raiders within a touchdown. Then he helped the team tie the game by throwing another touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree with just over a minute left.

It was not enough to win the game. A 50 yard pass to Antonio Brown delivered the dagger by setting up the game-winning field goal.

Regardless, the Raiders have nothing to be ashamed about from the 35-38 loss.

Yes, the defense played terrible. But what did we expect against the high powered Steelers offense?

We knew the Raiders had a terrible secondary. We knew the run defense was inconsistent. We knew the team had a bad history on the road.

What we did not know is if this team had the confidence to fight back.

The Raiders entered a hostile environment and they got hit in the month many times. Unlike years past, the team did not just get up but they struck back.

Of course it would have been great to win the game. But the Raiders are still learning to win.

Oakland is young at key positions including defensive line, corner back, wide receiver, quarterback and running back.

Forget morale victories or excuses. There are no such thing in football, which requires both teams to leave the field battered and bruised. Hence every football team is disappointed when they don’t get a win.

That said, I am still proud of my football team after Sunday’s loss. They battled until the final whistle.

Are they perfect? God no.

But the heart breaker against the Steelers shows Oakland is clearly headed in the right direction.  The Raiders showed the competitive fight that you want to see in a young team battling for the AFC Playoffs.

Trade deadline passes and Raiders stay put

Surprise! The Oakland Raiders made no changes before the trade deadline passed.

In four years as general manager, Reggie Mckenzie continues to not make any trades.

 

Of course fans like myself would like to see him take some gambles. However, the team is winning this year so I’ll keep my mouth shut.

In past years I have been adament about the Raiders making a play on some star power. This year I would have said the same, but the Raiders are in the playoff hunt. Moreover, they have all of their draft picks.

Raider fans know Reggie McKenzie loves him some draft picks.

Some of the names rumored on the trading block included Brian Cushing and Eric Weddle. Who wants some washed up defensive players?

Sheldon Richardson and Jason Pierre-Paul are probably the only names I would have traded for. They have enough off-field risks to warrant a discount price.

But let’s get real. It still would have cost a couple of high draft picks. Not worth it considering the Raiders are young and only getting better.

Plus, McKenzie has done a fine enough job scouring the waiver wire. He found gold in cornerback David Amerson.

Oakland basically resurrected Amerson’s career. Not to mention, he licked his chops with a hit on Geno Smith this Sunday versus the New York Jets.

Then there was also the Week 1 signing of Aldon Smith. Smith faced some legal troubles, but McKenzie took the gamble. Now he might have a cornerstone pass rusher across from Khalil Mack

Hence, we should forget about the trade deadline. Lets just be happy we are winning.

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Oakland Raiders Strategies versus New York Jets: Turn-up or Throw-out

The game is simple. Here are some gameplan elements from the New York Jets win that the Raiders need to keep or get rid of.

Turn-Up

  1. Taiwan Jones… Dude made four guys miss on his way to a 50 yard touchdown reception. Finally, we are seeing the Raiders implement his speed into the offensive game plan. He is the perfect compliment for Latavius Murray’s bruising style.
  2. Speaking of running backs, the Raiders made a Jets’ top run-defense look silly. In fact, this was the first time in franchise history that the team had 300 yard passer, 100 yard receiver and 100 yard runner twice in the same season. Keep trying to build the offensive gameplan around the running game
  3. Deep Passes…. You know Al Davis smiled from heaven when the Raiders completed those deep passes. It was great to see Andre Holmes finally put that big body and speed to use. Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper might both head for 1,000 yard seasons, but Holmes will be critical if he can develop into that No. 3 target.
  4. Clive Walford…. Walford made another big play in this game. This time it was a touchdown pass. The Raiders will need him to continue occupying the middle of the field. It should help them proceed pushing deep.

Throw-out

  1. The Swagger… I get it, the Raiders are relevant for the first time in 13 years. However, keep the humble and quiet swagger. There is no need to shout-out just yet. Let’s keep winning and not get ahead of ourselves.
  2. There was not much else to throw out. The Raiders basically played a perfect game… Even the secondary found some swagger.

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js