Jamarcus Russell and the (1-1) Oakland Raiders host the (2-0) Denver Broncos this Sunday. With a win on Sunday the Raiders would be sitting pretty in the AFC West. Here are 5 things the Raiders must do on Sunday in order to get another W.
1) Get Russell in a Rythm Early
If only it was that easy, but if the offense can come out and move the chains, that will build Russells cofidence. It would be nice to see some plays called that has Russell rolling out of the pocket, it seems that Russell is more accurate when he is moving his feet rather than standing like a statue. If Russell can come out and move the ball through the air early, that will give the Raiders the opportunity to open up the ground game significantly.
2) More Darren McFadden....Please?
In the 1st quarter against San Diego, McFadden was great, gaining positive yardage at will, but then seemed to disappear as the game progressed. The Raiders offensive play calling should be based on the abilities of McFadden. He has outstanding speed, great hands, and can throw the ball pretty good as well. What ever it takes to get this guy the rock more, needs to be top priority: Wild Cat, Line him up in the Slot, Punt Return, etc.
3) More Agressive Play at Linebacker
How many Raider Fans are sick and tired of seeing the Lb's line up ten yards off the ball on 3rd and long only to see a pass go for a first down and the drive continue. Put some pressure on the QB. The Raiders Defense can't rely soley on the defensive line to get pressure on the QB. The Defense needs to come up with some blitz packages to colapse the pocket and force Orton to get rid of the ball faster.
4) Control Time of Possession & Penalties
This is a must each and every week, granted that wasn't the case last week, and the Raiders still came out victorious, but that doesn't happen often. A healty diet of Darren McFadden, and Micahel Bush should take care of the time of possession battle in its self. As far as the penalties go, someone needs to get in Cornell Green's ear if he continues to have false starts.
5) Win the Special Teams Battle
The loss of Johnnie Lee Higgins last week really hurt the Raiders. It was evident everytime the recieving team was on the field last week. If JHL can't go again this week then the Raiders should use McFadden to handle the load, Hiram Eugene isn't the answer.
If the Raiders achive the 5 elements listed above they should find themselves tied for the lead in the AFC West, if they don't then its back to the drawing board!
My prediction Oakland 21 Denver 17
Jamarcus Russell aka Captain Comeback does it again.