Well this much is clear: Jamarcus Russell has yet to prove to anyone that he is a viable NFL quarterback. Because of this the Denver Broncos are going to stack 8 men in the box and force Jamarcus to beat them with his arm. As crazy as it sounds, I believe that is exactly what we need to do.
Denver has stormed out of the gates and amassed impressive defensive numbers going into week 3 of the young NFL season. Truth be told, neither Cincinnati nor Cleveland presented the type of legitimate running game that the Raiders will test the highly rated Denver defense with.
Oakland needs to continue to pound the ball in between the tackles with Michael Bush and use Darren McFadden as a change-of-pace back. However, the loss of Robert Gallery as a run blocker will likely cripple an already underachieving running game. I believe that in order to beat the upstart Broncos we need to catch McDaniels off guard and throw when they expect us not to. We have all seen that when Jamarcus starts off hot, he can be a completely different qurterback. With Denver stacking 8 in the box, one on one matchups for wide recievers should work to our advantage.
Zach Miller must get involved in the game early, and Jamarcus must also find a way to get the ball to Louis Murphy in space so that he has an opportunity to make plays. We need to shorten the field for Jamarcus and go to a 3 step drop with less play action. This will compensate for the lack of pocket presence and Chris Morris filling in for Gallery at Left Guard. Samson Satele must step into his roll at starting center and play physical football at the point of attack.
Kudos to Tom Cable, the Raider offensive line showed considerable improvement in discipline from week 1 to week 2. However it seemed as if that relcuctance to commit foolish false starts transformed into a general lack of explosiveness from the line of scrimmage.
Richard Seymour must mimic his week one performance and become an emotional leader for our young defense. This unit is greatly improved, and needs to match the tenacity it showed in the opener against San Diego. Simply put, we need the Raider swagger...we are catching glimpses of a playoff-caliber team and with a little leadership and direction, the transformation can go from myth to reality.
The last thing that needs to happen is the entire team needs to rally around Jamarcus Russell. Love him or hate him, he is our franchise quarterback. There is way too much sulking going on while he works through his inconsistent stretches. As fans, we are supposed to yell at the television or sideline, but as teammates you have to pick up the guy next to you. As a former athlete, I can tell you nothing makes an athlete perform worse than when he knows his teammates don't have confidence in his abilities. If we as fans can see it on the sidelines...imagine how it must feel to be Jamarcus. Ultimately thats why he gets paid the big bucks.
We need Jamarcus to get out to a fast start and to get Denver on their heels and up against the ropes. I believe that if Jamarcus can have a breakout game against the Broncos, it could define his entire season. I am hoping he seizes the moment and makes the best of an opportunity where the defense will defintiely be looking run first. Go Raiders!!!