The Oakland Raiders Need To Avoid Looking Past The Buffalo Bills.
Terrell White – Dec 3, 2016
Holla At Me Raider Nation!
Right now, the Raiders are on a roll! First winning season in, let's say - a while. A looming playoff appearance. Leaders of the AFC West. As I said, right now, the Raiders are on a roll! Which is why the last thing the team can afford to do is take this weeks contest against the Buffalo Bills lightly. I have no doubt that the Bills are not looking to come to Oakland and treat everyone to free buffalo wings. Furthermore, Buffalo head coach Rex Ryan, has got some Raider in him; Certainly more Raider then Jon Gruden. Moreover, he and Raider head coach Jack Del-Rio are quite familiar with one another; The two men worked as assistants on the Baltimore Ravens staff. So, I have no doubt that Rex will have the Bills ready for a fight.
Raiders On O.
First, let me say - black glove, or no black glove, Raider quarterback #4 D. Carr is going to be just fine. The Force is strong in this one! (sorry, couldn't resist) Sure, he dislocated his pinky in not one, but two places; Real Talk: Derek Carr, has got some Brett Favre in him. Moreover, he's a RAIDER. I fully expect, and you should too for our young gun slinger to be fully loaded, and firing bullets. Furthermore, offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave has been doing a masterful job (to my shock, and pleasure) this season with his game planning. I would fully expect the Raider offensive coordinator to look to protect Carr by using the Raider run game.
Buffalo is ranked in the Top 10 in terms of pass defense. Cornerback S. Gilmore has half of the teams 8 interceptions. Moreover, the unit as a whole is only allowing around 200 yards passing per contest; All the more reason to expect to see our Raiders running the ball. Establishing the run game early will make the play action passing game easier to sell; Which in turn will also help keep pressure off of Carr. We should look to wear down the Bills defensive front, setting ourselves up to be in position to dominate the second half of the contest. Using the run game more this week will help the Raiders to avoid being one dimensional, thus being easier to defend.
Pressure will not only be on the Raider running game. Pressure will also be on the Raider offensive line. The Buffalo defense hasn't been a sack producing machine this season; Despite that, I have no doubt that they as well as linebacker L. Alexander, who leads the team with 10 sacks will be looking to see if they can add to the total. Alexander should be especially motivated this week, having played for the Raiders last season. As we all know the Bills will be looking to get their hands on quarterback Derek Carr (again, sorry - just couldn't resist).
The question will be: Can the Raiders re-establish their running game? Over the past couple of games, a contest against the Houston Texans, and last weeks game against the Carolina Panthers, the Raiders have rushed for a combined 85 yards. However, with the Bills being ranked 21st in the league, giving up over 100+ yards rushing to their opponents, I would expect for Raider rushers to have a productive performance. Furthermore, I'm expecting the Raiders to be - DA RAIDERS!! Big plays!! Explosive offense!! Keep ya Raider-Eye on wide out #10 S. Roberts. Here's a fun fact - The Raiders are now 9-0 when the receiver catches a touchdown pass.
Raiders On D.
What can I say about the Raider defense? Is this unit as strong as we all would like it to be? HELL NO!! However, despite having questions in the secondary, linebackers with coverage issues, and an inconsistent pass rush, the Raider defense and its coordinator Ken Norton Jr. have been giving Raider Nation everything they've got. This unit can spend 3 quarters looking like trash; Then in the fourth quarter, when the team, positively, absolutely, has to have a stop - the defense throws a 3 & out, or finds a way to get off the field. Truth be told, I don't NEED pretty wins, I just needs wins!! While the Raider defense has not looked pretty, more often then not, they've found a way to get the job done, and win the game. At the end of the day, what more can you really ask for
The Raider game plan should be a simple one. Contain the Buffalo running game; Forcing them to use quarterback T. Taylor to beat us and win the game. Oakland playing Carolina quarterback C. Newton last week should have provided the defense with a good scrimmage for what they will be facing this week. Tyrod Taylor is a very mobile, athletic quarterback, who will not hesitate to take advantage of the Raiders not controlling gaps and lanes. Taylor has amassed over 2,000 yards passing this season, while throwing for 11 touchdowns. The Bills Q.B. is also among the NFL leads with 5 rushing touchdowns. If Taylor isn't making plays with his legs, look for him to be using his arm to get the ball to wide out S. Watkins. Last week, in his return from a broken foot he had 3 receptions for 80 yards. Expect more this week. I would expect to see Raider defensive back D. Amerson on Watkins Sunday (despite himself having a slightly injured ankle); I would also expect to see Amerson get some help in coverage.
However, the strength of the Buffalo offense has to be their #2 NFL ranked rushing attack. Taylor isn't the only potent runner in the Bills backfield; Running back L. McCoy in a word is: Dangerous. LeSean McCoy is the 4th leading rusher in the NFL. The Bills running back is not a fumble machine, so don't expect the untimely turnover. Moreover, not only can he get you the tough yards, he can break off a 70 yard touchdown run, at any time. Furthermore, McCoy can be counted on to make catches out of the backfield; Making him a lethal weapon in the passing game. The Raider defense must contain McCoy if the team is going to have any real shot at winning this game on Sunday.
The Raiders need to continue to develop, and win games. Good teams do a few things - which make them good teams. One of the things good teams do - WIN at home! Another thing good teams do - BEAT the teams that their expected to beat. The Raiders need to do both of those things this weekend. Being defeated by the Bills wouldn't be the worst thing that could happen to our Raiders. We got a look at THAT last week, when we saw quarterback Derek Carr go out of the game. However, the Raiders are looking to continue their resurgence, and put together a special season. With that in mind, the last thing the Raiders can afford to do is this week at home, against a team they should beat, is - lose. We have an opportunity to be on of the top playoff seeds in the AFC. Moreover, we have within our grasp an opportunity to reclaim that, which I believe is our birth right: AFC WEST DOMINATION. A win this week should provide our team with more momentum to keep their wining streak going!! I get the feeling, especially with a road game against the Kanas City Chiefs on the horizon, we're going to need all the momentum we can muster.
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