What the Oakland Raiders Need To Do To Win Every Game This Season
The Road to perfection is long and hard and every team dreams of going 16-0.
The 2010 Raiders are much improved and should have a chance to win every game this season and win the division.
Who knows, they may even be adding a fourth Lombardi Trophy.
Here is a game by game breakdown of what the Raiders need to do to win each and every game.
Week One-Sunday, September 12 10:00 a.m. @ Tennessee Titans
The Titans are a dangerous team, they have arguably the most athletic QB in the game, and the most dynamic running back.
On defense they have an above average run defense but a vulnerable pass defense. Last year the Titans allowed more completions than any other team, as well as the third worst completion rate against them (66.9 percent).
The Raiders need to contain Chris Johnson and prevent the Titans' running game from breaking off big gains. They also need to force Vince Young (or Kerry Collins) into passing the ball on the Raiders' terms.
On offense the Raiders need to run consistently and allow Jason Campbell to find his groove against a very vulnerable pass defense. If Campbell can get the pass game going this early it will be a boost for the whole season.
Also it would help if Roger Goodell decides to suspend Vince Young, and Chris Johnson continues his holdout.
If Chris Johnson and Vince Young are both out for this game the Raiders will win, easily.
Week Two- Sunday, September 19 1:05 p.m. vs. St. Louis Rams
For the home opener the Raiders get what would seem to be an easy win against the St Louis Rams.
Though the Rams were horrible last year, this game should not be taken lightly.
Steven Jackson is capable of taking over a game, especially this early in the season.
In order to win the Raiders need to contain Jackson and force the Rams into passing situations.
On offense all the Raiders need to do is limit mistakes and keep the ball on the ground and run to daylight.
Unless the Raiders make costly mistakes they will win.
Week Three-Sunday, September 26 1:15 p.m. @ Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals are not the same team they were last year. They lost three big playmakers in Karlos Dansby, Kurt Warner, and Anqaun Boldin.
Last year the Cardinals' pass defense was deceptively good. Though they allowed a lot of yards through the air, they also got to the QB a lot, forced INTs, and allowed one of the lowest completion percentages in the league.
Against the run, though, they didn't fare as well, allowing 4.5 yards per carry.
On offense the Cardinals still have one of the best WRs in the league, unfortunately they lack the QB to get him the ball.
If the Raiders want to win this game they have to keep the ball on the ground on offense and pound it down the Cardinals' throats. The Raiders need to avoid sure passing downs at all costs, otherwise Adrian Wilson and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and company will be licking their chops at the chance to intercept a rushed Jason Campbell.
On defense the Raiders need to control the line of scrimmage and make it difficult to run the ball.
If the Raiders d-line has a good game the Raiders will win this one.
Week Four-Sunday, October 3 1:05 p.m. vs. Houston Texans
The Texans have one of, if not the best QB-WR duo in the NFL in Andre Johnson and Matt Schaub. The ground game is suspect but they still have playmakers.
On defense they are suspect against the pass but top ten against the run.
In order for the Raiders to win they have to find success through the air on offense, while hassling Schaub on defense and forcing mistakes. The Texans struggling ground game should be an afterthought.
If Jason Campbell plays well the Raiders have a good chance at winning.
Week Five-Sunday, October 10 1:15 p.m. vs. San Diego Chargers
The Chargers usually start the season slow, but will likely have built some steam by Week Five.
The Chargers have an almost nonexistent running game, but one of the best QBs and aerial attacks in the NFL.
On defense the Chargers follow a bend but don't break defensive philosophy, which has faired pretty well for them.
In order to win this game, on defense, the Raiders need to play physically, bring the pressure, and get to Phillip Rivers. Pretty much what they did for the first three quarters at last year's season opener—just this time for all four quarters.
They also need to contain Darren Sproles. If given the chance, he can take over a game.
On offense the Raiders need to play it smart and not force any passes and find success on the ground.
It would also help if Shawne Merriman, Vincent Jackson, and Marcus McNeil are all gone, or continuing their holdouts.
If the Raiders can get to Rivers early and often they will win.
Week Six-Sunday, October 17 1:05 p.m. @ San Francisco 49ers
This should be a hard fought battle, in my opinion. The 49ers have the fiercest defense in the NFL and are good all around.
On offense they have a great o-line, great tight-end, great running game, average receivers, and then Alex Smith.
In order for the Raiders to win they have to grind it out on offense and limit mistakes. This will be a low scoring game so one turnover could change the outcome of the game.
On defense the Raiders need to control the line of scrimmage and stop Frank Gore, forcing the ball into Alex Smith's hands, hopefully forcing a turnover.
If the Raiders defensive front can can out-perform the 49ers offensive front, the Raiders will win this game.
Weel Seven-Sunday, October 24 1:15 p.m. @ Denver Broncos
I expect the Broncos to have one of the scariest pass defenses in the league.
With Brian Dawkins and Champ Bailey in coverage and Elvis Dumervil rushing the passer, they should fare well against the pass.
Last year the Broncos ranked 23rd in run defense, but they've addressed that with Jamal Williams and Justin Banaan, so it should be a little harder to run.
In order for the Raiders to win this game they have to run well and control the clock on offense. Basically just give Micheal Bush the damn ball.
If the Raiders get into to many clear passing situations like 3rd-and-long, Elvis Dumervil and the Bronco pass-rushers will smell blood and things could turn out badly for Jason Campbell.
On defense the Raiders need to contain Knowshon Moreno and the Broncos rushing attack. With Brandon Marshall gone I expect the Broncos to emphasize the run more; Moreno will easily crack 1,000 yards this year.
Also, it would help if the Raiders don't allow Eddie Royal to catch 15 passes this time around.
If the Raiders have a good game on the ground and keep Jason Campbell upright they will win.
Week Eight-Sunday, October 31 1:15 p.m. vs. Seattle Seahawks
Last year the Seahawks passing defense was horrible and their running defense was average.
Their passing offense was unimpressive, but they addressed that in the offseason and if Matt Hasselbeck is healthy then their passing game should be much improved. Their running game was among the worst in the league and they have done little, aside from drafting Russell Okung, to address that.
If the Raiders want to win this game they have to shut down the pass on defense, and let the Seahawks no name running backs try their luck against our defense.
On offense the Raiders just need to be themselves and keep it simple against Seattle's soft defense.
Also it would help if Matt Hasselbeck was injured, which seems to happen like clockwork every year.
If the Raiders pressure the QB they will win.
Week Nine-Sunday, November 7 1:15 p.m. vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Though the Chiefs have a few playmakers their offense is shaky at best with Matt Cassel at the helm.
On defense their pass rush and run defense were both among the worst in the league, making their front seven arguably the softest in the league.
But you should never underestimate a division rival.
If the Raiders want to win this game they have to run early and run often on offense, and not force any throws in the vicinity of Eric Berry or Brandon Flowers.
On defense they need to contain the run and force the ball into Matt Cassel's hands. They also need to prevent big plays from players like Jamaal Charles, Dexter McCluster, and Dwayne Bowe.
If the Raiders run well they will win.
Week 10-Bye Week
The Raiders get a well placed bye Week 10 of the season.
This will be a good chance for the team to get healthy for the second half of the season.
Week 11-Sunday, November 21 10:00 a.m. @ Pittsburgh Steelers
The Raiders are coming off a bye and should be fresh for this game, and the Raiders currently hold a three game winning streak against the Steelers.
The Steelers, at least when healthy, have one of the best defenses in the league. They are great against the run and have a great pass rush, though their attack-style defense often gives up big plays through the air.
Last year they had a great passing game and a below average rushing attack, which should be improved this year.
If the Raiders want to win this game their defense has to bring pressure and get to Big Ben, which isn't that hard, and play fundamentally sound defense.
On offense they need to run the ball, as well as possible given the Steelers stout run-d, to keep the Steelers honest—while relying on the Raiders' team speed to stretch the field in the passing game.
If the Raiders can protect the QB and break off a few big pass plays, they will win.
Week 12-Sunday, November 28 1:05 p.m. vs. Miami Dolphins
With the Wildcat and players like Ronnie Brown, Ricky Williams, and Pat White the Dolphins have the most versatile offense in the NFL.
Their passing offense is nothing to write home about, well at least that was the case before they got Brandon Marshall. Their rushing attack is easily top five.
Given the total passing yards the Dolphins gave up you would think they had a vulnerable pass defense, until you realize they allowed the fourth lowest completion percentage in the NFL and had the third highest number of sacks. Against the run the Dolphins defense is about average.
This defensive unit should be improved with the addition of Karlos Dansby, Jared Oderick, and Koa Misi.
If the Raiders want to win this game they need shut down the running game and force the Dolphins to test our pass defense.
On offense they need to stay balanced and avoid the Dolphins' potent pass rush.
If the Raiders can out-rush the Dolphins they will win.
Week 13-Sunday, December 5 1:05 p.m. @ San Diego Chargers
By this time in the season the slow starting Chargers will be at full steam.
At this point the Chargers will likely have secured a playoff spot, with hopes of securing home-field advantage.
If the Raiders want to win they will need to play physical and play great special teams.
It would also help if the Chargers had injuries this late in the season.
The Raiders will win if they hassle Phillip Rivers all game.
Week 14-Sunday, December 12 10:00 a.m. @ Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars are an interesting struggling team. They have a great QB and one of the most dynamic running backs in the game, as well as a shaky o-line, and no receivers.
Plus they just spent their first four draft picks on the d-line. The Jags defense was soft all around and conventional wisdom says four rookies will do little to help that.
If the Raiders want to win this game they simply need to avoid game changing mistakes and not allow Maurice Jones-Drew to take over the game.
The Raiders will win if they can slow down Maurice Jones-Drew.
Week 15-Sunday, December 19 1:15 p.m. vs. Denver Broncos
I feel the Raiders and Broncos will be battling it out for second place in the division.
With that said, this may very well be the most important game of the season for both teams.
The Raiders will be at home for this game. The Broncos took a step backwards on defense but have made strides on offense.
Likely whoever runs the ball better will win this game.
I don't mean to repeat myself, but if the Raiders want to win all they have to do is give Micheal Bush the damn ball.
Week 16-Sunday, December 26 1:05 p.m. vs. Indianapolis Colts
On offense the Colts have one of the quickest scoring passing offenses in the league, but a below average running game.
On defense they are weak against the run but have one of the best pass rushes in the game.
In order for the Raiders to win they need to run the ball and control the clock, keeping the ball out of Peyton Manning's hands. If the Raiders can ensure they are the last team to score before the half, that would greatly increase their chances of winning.
If the Raiders get behind early, they likely will never recover.
It would also help if the Colts are resting their starters for the playoffs after clinching the division this late in the season.
The Raiders will win if they're lucky.
Week 17-Sunday, January 2 10:00 a.m. @ Kansas City Chiefs
This late in the season any chance the Chiefs had at the playoffs are gone.
But that doesn't mean they can't play the role of spoiler late in the season, and they would love to knock a division rival out of the playoffs.
If the Raiders have any chance at the playoffs this late in the season the Chiefs will be looking to do the Raiders like they did the Broncos last year late in the season.
If the Raiders want to win they have to take advantage of the Chiefs' weaknesses at the line of scrimmage.
The Raiders will win if they control the line of scrimmage.
You didn't really think that I believed the Raiders will go 16-0 this season, did you?
Here are my game by game predictions for the 2010 season.
Week 1 WIN, Raiders-24 Tennessee-14
Week 2 WIN, Raiders-35 Rams-10
Week 3 WIN, Raiders-27 Cardinals-14
Week 4 Loss, Raiders-10 Texans 20
Week 5 WIN, Raiders-20 Chargers 17
Week 6 Loss, Raiders-7 49ers-17
Week 7 Loss, Raiders-17 Broncos 24
Week 8 WIN, Raiders-21 Seahawks 10
Week 9 WIN, Raiders-21 Chiefs 7
Week 10 BYE
Week 11 Loss, Raiders-13 Steelers 21
Week 12 Loss, Raiders-10 Dolphins 21
Week 13 Loss, Raiders-13 Chargers 24
Week 14 WIN, Raiders-27 Jaguars 14
Week 15 WIN, Raiders-24 Broncos 21
Week 16 Loss, Raiders-24 Colts 38
Week 17 Win, Raiders-31 Chiefs-10
AFC West Standings
Feel free to share your predictions...