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Hope fades from silver to black quite quickly for Bay Area football fans. Week 3 is often spent mourning the death of joy from Week 2, and after giving up a 21-3 halftime lead in a losing effort to Buffalo Bills last Sunday, Raider Nation will not be jumping to conclusions should its team start off hot this week against the Jets.
This is why the Raiders do not need 47 keys to victory. It could have the key to the city and still find itself shut out at home. Oakland has enough to think about in getting from first down to second down without imploding or being fined.
For its best chance at victory, the Raiders need to keep it simple.
Utilize the consistency of quarterback Jason Campbell, and keep him protected as he scans down field for a streaking wide receiver Denarius Moore, or check downs to fullback Marcel Reece. Oakland has offensive threats, it just needs a quarterback stable enough to make good on them.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Raiders may find its efforts rewarded for physical, grinding play that focuses on exploiting the Jet's weakened offensive line. With its secondary likely to give up a few big plays, the Raiders need to swarm, disrupt, and rattle New York into one or two costly turnovers.
Beyond players, coaches, and schemes, Oakland has to consider its intimidating, hard-nosed self as an important, if not equal, part of the equation as it seeks a win in its home opener. The Raiders are at the bottom of the league season after season in fan attendance. This is because they tend to be terrible.
The past haunts the Raider's present. A victory in the O.co Coliseum against the hated Jets may just represent that illusive key—one that unlocks a struggling franchise from the chain of expectations, allowing it a chance to finally exceed them.