Hopes are high in Raider-Land. They just ended their losing streak to the Charger, defeated a rival and shut up the most fair-weathered fans in the division.
Next week the Raiders travel across the Bay Bridge to face the winless 49ers, and I'm sure many Raider faithful are already chalking this game up as an easy win
But the 49ers aren't nearly as bad as their 0-5 record suggests and sleeping on this team could be a huge mistake.
Here's a look at why the Raiders cannot sleep on the 49ers this week and what they need to do to keep the 49ers from their first victory of the season.
Right now the 49ers are desperate for a win and that makes them very dangerous. They are like an injured cornered animal, very unpredictable.
This week the 49ers will be hungry and playing for pride.
Even the fans are desperate and have been cheering for their backup QB, David Carr, to see the field.
That sounds familiar, last year the Raiders were in a similar position. If the 49ers decide to bench Smith and the fans back Carr anything can happen.
In order to ensure victory the Raiders need to strike early and take the 49er fans out of the game.
Despite their record the 49ers have one of the fiercest defenses in the NFL. They can stop the run, defend the pass, get to the QB and force turnovers. Well atleast sometimes.
Hell these guys can do everything but win the game for the offense.
Going up against guys like Patrick Willis, Taylor Mays, Aubrayo Franklin, Takeo Spikes and others. The Raiders need to avoid costly turnovers in order to put away the 49ers.
This may be the first week that both Darren McFadden and Michael Bush are healthy, if so a heavy ground attack should be used to wear out the defense.
I hate to admit it, but the 49ers are the more physical team heading into this game.
Under Singletary they have a smash-mouth running game, a big nasty o-line and hard hitting defenders on defense.
The Raiders will come out of this game bruised up but hopefully they come out with a win as well.
One thing the Raiders cannot do is allow an 0-5 team bully them for their first win.
The Raiders need to match the 49ers physicality and be the aggressor more often than not.
The 49ers have lost three heart-breakers so far this season and all to decent teams: The New Orlean Saints, The Atlanta Falcons and the Philidephia Eagles. The 49ers have lost to these three teams by a combined total of 8 points.
If the 49er team that lost these three close games shows up, the Raiders could be in for a long hard fought battle.
But if the 49er team that got blown out by the Chiefs and Seahawks show up, then that could be a different story.
The Raiders need to come out on all cylinders this week. If the 49ers come out flat the Raiders cannot afford to play down to their level.
As of late it has seemed the Raiders have had a problem winning consecutive games.
When the Raiders win, rather than carry momentum from one week to the next. They tend to come out flat.
The last time the Raiders put together a winning streak was... Well, to be honest with you, I can't remember the last time the Raiders put together a winning streak. All I know is that its been a while.
The Raiders just ended the Chargers long winning streak. Now they need to end their own streak of not being able to put together a winning streak.
Yes, beleive it or not the 49ers offense is filled with talent.
Please, don't laugh, I'm not trying to be facetious. I am dead serious.
Their o-line, though they've looked bad lately, has two very talented rookies.
Frank Gore is a beast and can take over a game, atleast as long as he can hold onto the ball. And I'm sure Brian Westbrook has a little left in the tank.
And they have two dangerous recievers: Micheal Crabtree is coming into his own. And Vernon Davis, in my opinion, is the most dangerous tight-end in the game.
Hell even Alex Smith shows flashes of why he was drafted so high.
The last thing that the Raiders can afford to do this week is underestimate these guys.
Ahh, who am I kidding?
The 49ers are horrible. Lets all chalk up an easy win for the Oakland Raiders.