The Oakland Raiders are fresh off a loss to the Houston Texans that should have been win. Oakland put the pressure on Houston for most of the game until the Texans were able to squeeze one out. That’s not surprising given they were a home team with more talent.
The Same question, new week
Who are the Raiders in 2019?
They showed similar strengths in glimpses versus the Packers and Chiefs early. Versus the Broncos, Bears and Colts they dominated early and held on for dear life. Minnesota dominated the Raiders much like the Packers and Chiefs eventually did.
Oakland is still learning how to win. They’ve had turnovers in tough spots. They do not always have someone who can make a play in a big third down or red zone spot. Players they have like Waller is still doing his best as the No. 1 option.
Josh Jacobs is balling as well despite dealing with shoulder injuries. He has a shot at rookie of the year. The Raiders have to give him the ball if he can shoulder it.
Zay Jones caught two passes for 27 yards in his Raiders debut. That’s two first downs. The Raiders got to look for more from him.
Oakland needs to keep trying to score at a high level if they want to sniff the playoffs. They should be able to do that against Detroit who hasn’t looked anymore consistent.
The only thing keeping the Lions out of Last place in the NFC north is a tie with the Cardinals in Week One. Otherwise, the Lions have won and lost some close games.
Lions or Cubs
Of course the Raiders real key to winning this game is on defense again. Maxx Crosby is getting a lot of hype as an every down player but Oakland needs more than that.
The Raiders could also use some help from the backend. Oakland will get opportunities for interceptions versus Matthew Stafford who takes shots downfield.
However, Stafford throws one of the best deep balls in the league. Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones ain’t nothing to sleep on as receivers. They could easily give the young Raiders corners long days.
On defense, the Raiders are really missing Vontaze Burfict’s instincts, toughness and knowledge of the defense. They aren’t wearing on offenses like they did with him.
The Raiders do not have to play excellent defense. They just need to be good enough to get off the field and hold teams to field goals.
Oakland’s offense is strong enough upfront to build up a fast lead and run out the clock. They just need their defense to bend and not break as the old cliche says. That is complimentary football as they call it.
Ultimately, this is another opportunity for the Raiders to reveal their true identity. They need to prove they are a dominate run team at home. If they can get a lead and hold onto it, that should be enough to beat Detroit.
The Lions are nothing to sleep on though. They could easily embarrass the Raiders and send them below a .500 record. A win for the Silver and Black on the other hand would set them up for a playoff run. Right now, Oakland is one of a pack looking up at the Texans in the AFC Wild Card race. At least Oakland enters the softer part of their schedule.
Thus, we will see what Gruden can keep cooking up on offense. We also have to hope Geunther and the defense doesn’t get embarrassed for the third weekend in a row.