Raiders vs. Patriots: New England Will Have a Long Day in Oakland

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Raiders vs. Patriots: New England Will Have a Long Day in Oakland
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
No escape from.. The Black Hole.

In Foxborough nearly a decade ago, Tom Brady led his Patriots past the Oakland Raiders in the game that would be called many things, one of the catchiest of which is "The Snow Job."

Charles Woodson attacked Brady out of a cornerback blitz and caused Brady to fumble, which led to Oakland's appearance in the AFC Championship against the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, the fumble was deemed an incomplete pass—thus, opening up an intense disliking from the Raider Nation for the New England Patriots and Brady, revenge that can be dealt with on Sunday, Oct. 2.

From that game, only Brady and Matt Light remain as active Patriots, where on the Oakland sideline, Steve Wisniewski and Greg Biekert will be looking for revenge, without pads and a helmet on, but with a clipboard and whistle (well, maybe not a whistle) as they lead a new generation of Raiders, arguably the most talented bunch since the Super Bowl loss in 2003 in Oakland.

Excitement is expected, especially after the Raiders handled the Jets on both sides of the ball. Darren McFadden's early MVP movements allowed him to leave O.co yesterday as the top rusher in the NFL, soaring past Fred Jackson from Buffalo.

On defense? Tyvon Branch corrected a mistake that might have put away the relentless Bills two weeks ago when he picked off Sanchez in the end zone in fine coverage. Big Richard Seymour, Tommy Kelly and Kameron Wimbley all recorded a sack, but Jarvis Moss managed to get to Sanchez three times—definitely a game changer for Oakland.

On Oct. 3, however, New England is coming into Oakland with the sole intent to shred the secondary, but can it? Can Brady repeat that marvelous performance he put on against the Dolphins on the first Monday Night Football game of 2011? Many think so, but this is a hungry Raiders team that grew tired of being "almost there" and wants it all, now.

When a team squares off against a quarterback as deadly as Brady, so much needs to be done and covered. Giving Brady the smallest window to go through will allow him to get into a groove and shred Oakland, which is why coach Hue Jackson is preparing Oakland to no lengths.

Wes Welker is always a game-changer, but with the performance Oakland's defense put on against the Jets, Welker may not matter. Stanford Routt is growing to fill the void left behind by Nnamdi Asomugha after allowing Santonio Holmes just one reception on Sunday.

The primary focus will be on Oakland's defensive line, once again playing a team with a secondary starter for center. Look for the defensive line, especially Seymour and Kelly, to wreak havoc, allowing the defensive ends to come in and put a hurting on Brady.

The key to beating the Patriots is rattling Brady.

Preseason is often not counted, but if what the Lions did to the Patriots is any indication of what happens when pressure is thrown in Brady's face, Oakland's defense will do well.

Chimdi Chekwa did extremely well for a rookie; he will definitely be playing for Chris Johnson if Johnson still will not suit up due to injury—something that excites the Oakland fans.

At the end of the day, Oakland is looked at once again as an underdog against an AFC East team. Many are predicting the Patriots to come out and completely wipe the floor with Oakland, but for a team like New England to be giving up close to five hundred yards a game on defense against a team as explosive as Oakland on offense, that does not seem to be the case.

Unlike what happened years ago, there will be no fumble being overturned as an incomplete pass. This time the game is early in the season and can have a profound impact of the rest of the season. A young team like Oakland defeating the Jets and the Patriots back to back can do a lot for confidence and morale; the Raiders are definitely able to pull this off.

This is a new Oakland Raiders team, one that still may find them with more yellow laundry than they would like, but definitely a team perfectly capable of winning. The New England Patriots will learn this firsthand, just like Rex Ryan and the New York Jets did.

New England stepping into Oakland only means one thing...

The autumn wind...is a Raider.

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