It is finally here! The week allfans await like Christmas. The week which, upon its unveiling, is eagerly circled with pen breaking vigor on all calendars.
In a schedule filled with bitter rivals and compelling matchups, this week takes a back seat to none. That’s right, this is the week the Raiders face those dreaded, measly, cheap-shot-artist punks: B-Y-E.
With the Raiders' offensive ineptness, this looks to be one of the most compelling matchups in the history of this famed series—a series burnt into our psyche since 1990.
Since its inception, this has been as one-sided and even a battle the game has ever known. The Raiders have never beaten B-Y-E, yet they have never lost. If that is not the definition of compelling, I don’t know what is.
With that little morsel of goodness for your expectant baby bird mouths, let’s take a look at what we can expect.
Raiders Offense vs. B-Y-E Defense
This is a marvelous opportunity for the Raiders to get the aforementioned inept offense going. B-Y-E’s cover-0 defense leaves them vulnerable all over the field.
On plays in which the Raiders receivers manage not to tackle each other, JaMarcus Russell should have open targets to target. But can he hit them? And when he does, can they catch it?
With all of these question marks in the passing game, the Raiders would be best served to stick to the running game. The Raiders patchwork offensive line is getting healthy and is about to be not so patchwork. But will it matter? Damn, more question marks!
B-Y-E is likely to use their patented zero in the box strategy—this means the offensive line will only have to concentrate on not running into each other or tackling their own ball carriers (like this guy). Execution will be the name of the game here—unfortunately this is not a strong point of the Raiders offense.
B-Y-E Offense vs. Raiders Defense
I literally see no way in which B-Y-E will be able to move the ball against the Raiders, however, the Raiders have surprised me before. They posses an uncanny ability to completely blow even the most simple of coverages and assignments.
B-Y-E needs to run early and often against this beleaguered rush defense. When they do pass, they would be wise to throw it toward Chris Johnson orwho will be doing their best to pass interfere the air.
B-Y-E’s receivers literally have no hands and will likely not be able to catch the ball. They do, however, stand a great chance at drawing a pass interference call or eight on the Raiders DBs. Some of the calls will be questionable, but the refs will bring up some arcane never-before-heard-of rule to justify them.
All signs point to this is being a tight game.
B-Y-E, despite not having any players on the field, is going to find a way to exploit one of the Raiders blown coverages for a big play touchdown.
B-Y-E will also receive two points from a safety. The safety will come after the Raiders struggling kick return team fails to advance the ball past the two on the opening kickoff.
Despite the horrible field position Tom Cable is going to call for a deep pass. At the snap of the ball every single Raider, having forgot the play, is going to run into each other and fall down, except for Russell. Russell, overwhelmed with confusion, will simply run out of the back of the end zone in an attempt to hide behind the field goal post and mutter to himself “It’s not my fault—it’s not my fault.”
The Raiders are going to enjoy decent success moving the ball, but the return ofto the lineup will mean the return of those crucial drive-killing penalties. Although the Raiders will continually move the ball into the red zone they will have to settle for field goals.
This will setup a dramatic finish. With the score knotted at 9-all, the Raiders will win this on a last second drop kick field goal by all world kicker.
Lechler will attempt the drop kick after injuries force him into action. The injuries will occur when the B-Y-E coach calls a time out right before the Raiders other all world kicker,, can get his game winning attempt off.
The only player on the field to hear the whistle will be the holder. Upon hearing the whistle he will lean over to stand up, which tragically places his head right in the otherworldly powerful arc of Janikowski’s foot. Unable to stop, Janikowski will kick his holder in the head—causing it to detach from his body and send it tumbling through the exact midpoint of the uprights.
Unfortunately, this breaks Janikowski’s foot, rendering him unable to attempt the field goal. The holder, unable to get his head reattached in time, is unavailable for the next play—forcing Lechler to attempt the historic drop kick.
As always, let's see your predictions in the comments below.