NFL Week 6: Oakland Raiders vs Cleveland Brownsâ€”Match-Ups to Watch!
John Doublin – Oct 14, 2011This Sunday's game between the Oakland Raiders and Cleveland Browns will be no different than any other NFL gameâ€”match-ups will decide the victor.
Coaches and coordinators are always looking for the match-ups that favor their team. Head coach Hue Jackson, offensive coordinator Al Saunders and defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan will be watching film and analyzing ways to force match-ups that will give the Raiders an advantage.
Let's have a look at some match-ups that could decide the game...
DT-Richard Seymour vs C-Steve Vallos: This could be the most important match up of the game for the Browns. Their starting center, Alex Mack hasn't practiced all week due to an undisclosed illness. His replacement Vallos, is a fifth year player that simply isn't good enough to start. Having to play against the likes of perennial Pro Bowler Richard Seymour is going to make a long day for himâ€”and the Cleveland offense.
DE-Jarvis Moss vs LT Joe Thomas: Jarvis Moss is a former first round pick that is having a resurgence in Oakland. Joe Thomas is a Pro Bowler who is widely regarded as one of the best in the league. Moss will have a tough time, but his speed may give Thomas problems. The winner of this battle could decide the effectiveness of the Browns' passing attack.
Raiders' interior offensive line vs MLB-D'Qwell Jackson: Jackson is tied for the Browns' team lead in sacks with just 2.5. This suggests the Browns like to bring pressure up the middle against the opponent's guards and center. Center Samson Satele, (back at practice) and guards Cooper Carlisle and Stefen Wisniewski need to be aware of this tendencyâ€”and be prepared for it.
RB-Darren McFadden vs The Browns' linebackers: Everyone knows that McFadden is among the elite running backs in the NFLâ€”including the Browns. There is no doubt Cleveland will have a plan that focuses on stopping "D-mac." The Browns' linebackers are big and strong, but not particularly athletic. Don't look for McFadden to try and run any of them over, more likely, he'll be looking to make moves that leave the Browns' linebackers grasping at air.
QB-Jason Campbell vs The Browns' Safeties: Mike Adams and T.J. Ward are solid NFL safeties, but they can be had. Jason Campbell needs to do a good job of looking them off the routes to open up passing lanes and create windows into which he can deliver the ball. With any NFL defensive back, if you stare down your receiver, they're going to burn you with an interception. That said, the tape would suggest that Adams and Ward are more susceptible to this tactic than others.
S-Mike Mitchell vs TE-Benjamin Watson: Watson enters this game as the Browns' leading receiver. Mitchell proved last year that he can cover any tight end in the league. When Mitchell went down with injury, the Raiders rotated the other safeties and linebackers to cover the tight ends with some success. However, now that Mitchell is back at full strength, look for Oakland to point out Watson and tell Mitchell, "That's your man...cover him."
Of all of the match-ups discussed in this article, the one involving McFadden will be the most critical for the Raiders. If McFadden can have yet another big day running the ball, the entire offense benefits. The linebackers and safeties cheat up leaving big holes for Campbell to deliver the ball to the wide receivers off of play action.
Assuming these match-ups work out as predicted, the Raiders should be able to win their first home game in more than 47 years without Al Davis watching from the owners' box.
Prediction: Raiders-31 Browns 13
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