Raiders-Eagles: Keys to "Raider" Victory

Big AL FanContributor IOctober 18, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 11:  Michael Bush #29 of the Oakland Raiders runs the ball against the New York Giants on October 11, 2009 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Below you will find some independent analysis performed by me.
This is an effort to expose the opponent's weak areas and how to attack them.

My approach is to not re-invent the wheel.  I looked at recent games where the Eagles were beaten. Obviously the teams that beat them did their homework.

I expose those areas in the discussion.  I expect that the Raiders game planning will at least have some of these elements. 

Keys to winning the game:

No. 1 Priority: keep the ball out of McNabb's hands.
Slow the game down by any means possible.

No. 2: The Raiders defense must hold the Eagles to under 21 points.
The Eagles were 1-4 last year when held under 21 points.

No. 3: The Raiders have to run and never abandon it.
JaMarcus Russell should prepare to run a few designed sneaks: it's all about the run.
Attack the left side when running. Clinton Portis ran for 145 yards last year; he ran to his left on all big runs.

No. 4 Play physical the whole game.
The Ravens beat them badly last year 36 to 7.
The Eagles were 2-4 in physical rivalry games in their own Division last year.

No. 5 Raiders must Feature the Tight Ends.  Look at what what the TE's in their division did last year:
Witten 14 for 160 yards
Cooley 12 for 137
Boss 7 for 74

No. 6 Throw over the shoulder throws for big pass plays.
I noticed on big pass plays, receivers were getting behind the Eagles Defenders when one on one. When in one on one coverage, JaMarcus may be able to let the ball go early and allow DHB or L. Murphy run under it...or even Miller.

These plays are not long developing plays, just 10 yards or so off the line of scrimmage, the ball can be lobbed. Worst case is an over-thrown incomplete pass.

When looking at the Keys to Victory above, I turned to Eagles vs. Redskins last year. where the Eagles lost both games. The score of the First game was 23-17.  The second Game was 10-3.

Washington QB Jason Campbell did not have great games in either.  He managed the game and did not turn the ball over.

Keys to the 23-17 win for Washington were:
In one game, Clinton Portis 29 for 145 yards: huge runs were all made when Portis ran to his left.  Washington sealed the deal on a fourth and 1 run off the left side.

Time of possession: Because they ran the ball, Washington controlled the clock, possessing the ball for 10 minutes more than the Eagles.  In the 10-3 Loss, it was the same story, the Redskins had the ball for six minutes longer.


Here are some good Situational plays. 

QB sneak up the middle when the Eagles line 9 up in the box on a passing down.
Eagles use this formation on obvious passing downs and there are no linebackers behind the linemen. The Raiders center and guard must open a crease.
JaMarcus has to be ready to run his behind off.
Wide receivers have to block downfield to protect him.

Same situation on an obvious passing down - Especially third and 6 or 7.
Eagles use this formation on obvious passing downs and there are no linebackers behind the linemen. Quick hit Running play up the middle (left of center).

These two were used to beat the Eagles last year:

Designed passes to the RB in the flat on third down.
Allow the WR to take the DB's out of the play.

Designed passes to the Tight End on third down.
The TE blocks, releases, turns, catches (maybe even on the run) the WR's run deep routes to take the DB's out of the play.

Miscellaneous Game notes:

Eagles Defense

* Ranked 3rd in the NFL only 272 Yards a game but do give up 21 points a game.
* Give up more yards rushing than do their opponents (110 yards/Game)
* Did not do well against the TE Winslow last week.

* Will play straight up on 1st down.
* Will play straight up on Running Downs.
* Will blitz on passing downs later in the game: this is why runs on passing downs are good.

* Raiders may try Jumbo 2 tight End Package on 3rd downs (blitzing Downs).

Eagles will be looking to make JaMarcus pass by stopping the run.
We have to be able to run to win this game.

They put 8 or 9 in the box sometimes on passing downs.  Don't pass on these downs.
Run like hell.  If you don't make it, you live to fight another series.  If you pass,
bad things can happen. 

If you have success running in these situations.  You got them where you want them.  You can then start passing on these downs since they will be looking for the run and this is not in their planning.

The Eagles may come out and play a base Defense to see if they can play straight up.

When we have success running, and all is going as planned, big plays will be available and it will be time to take a shot downfield.  This is a game where the speed of the rookies can come into play.

The Eagles blitz more than any team in the NFL.

Now Go Get'm Boys!


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