Keys To Victory For The Raiders This Week Against The Cardinals

Darkside KesslerCorrespondent ISeptember 22, 2010

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 23:  Running back Darren McFadden #20 of the Oakland Raiders avoids defensive back Adrian Wilson #24 of the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason game on August 23, 2008 at the McAfee Coliseum in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Greg Trott/Getty Images)
Greg Trott/Getty Images

I haven't written in awhile.  Sorry about that, but let's get to it.


What do the Raiders need to do to win this week in Arizona?


For starters, we need our running game to keep tracking.  We are 3rd in the league in rushing and we may even have Bush back to start the Thunder and Lightning show.  Even if we don't however, McFadden has shown that he is hear to play this year. 

Our passing game needs to at least be somewhat effective.  Cable has decided, to the excitement of most of the Raider Nation, to make Bruce Gradkowski the starter.  He says there is no controversy, which tells me it is a permanent decision.  Bruce showed great awareness and mobility and managed to make DHB look like an NFL threat.  If he can come close to his 2nd half performance of last week, that will open up the running game that has been stellar thus far.

Our Pass Defense is ranked 5th in the league, this week, with a QB who has only performed well in a handful of games in his career, will be throwing to either Breaston or Fitz.  I see no issue for our DB's on this one. 


Here is where we need to improve.  Our Line needs to show that they can stop more than a peewee football team in pass protection.  I mean really, these guys are making more in 1 quarter of play than I make in a year and they can't stop anything.  Let's hope they have become inspired this week.

Our Run Defense is at the opposite end of the spectrum from our pass defense.  Chris Johnson gained over 140 yards on us in week one and we made Steven Jackson look like a number 1 fantasy back.  Now I do feel we did pretty good against Johnson.  He gained half his yards on 1 play, but he cannot allow big gains like that against the able Hightower and a healthy Wells (assuming Wells plays).


The way I see this game is, our strengths against their strengths and our weaknesses against there weaknesses.  We need to step it up and have a record over .600 for the first time since our Super Bowl run.  The confidence that will be instilled in this team will be immense.  The tide could turn in our favor after 7 long years of waiting.  All that stands in our way is a FLUFFY RED BIRD.  Don't forget, we have Houston and San Diego the next 2 weeks.