When the Oakland Raiders roll into Cleveland this weekend to take on the 3-11 Browns, who will we see running onto the frigid field? Will it be the stumbling shoot yourself in the head and foot offense of the first half of the season? Or will we see a ball control offense designed to punish the Cleveland defense on long productive time consuming drives? I am hoping for the latter. If the Raiders hope to break through and get six wins for the first time since the debacle at the Superbowl in 2002, they have to put this game on the backs of Michael Bush, Justin Fargas, and Darren McFadden.
The raiders are averaging 111 yards per game on the ground. This number must increase this weekend. These three backs if used properly can be very effective, because they are versatile, and because they run the gamut from heavy bruising behemoth thru crash test determination down too speedy edge burning wide receiving threat.. All three have what Al Davis likes most, speed.
There will be ten mile per hour winds with temperatures in the low 30's. Very little snow is also a plus. Charlie Frye is returning slightly shaken, hopefully not stirred, to familiar territory, and hopefully he will let his team mates make plays for him. Along the lines of the Jamarcus Russell strategy, without the sucking. In these conditions a power running game is just the ticket.
If the Raiders want to go back to back? Then they must go back to back to back.