Oakland and the Next Task: Can They Run the String to Two Wins?

Raider Card Addict@RaidercardadictSenior Writer IOctober 21, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 18:  Justin Fargas #25 of the Oakland Raiders runs against Sheldon Brown #24 of the Philadelphia Eagles during an NFL game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on October 18, 2009 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

For Oakland, last week's win was a nice change of pace. Strong defense, aided by timely scoring by Zach Miller and Sebastian Janikowski.

For Tom Cable, his basic statement on the matter said a lot.

"Do it again."

The Raiders have had issues in the past, having a good win, then sliding back into the ways that frustrates coaches.

A case in point, last year was when the Raiders beat the New York Jets for Cable's first win in 2008.

This year, things have changed a bit. For the Jets, a new quarterback by the name of Mark Sanchez earlier was doing well, leading the Jets to a 3-0 record for the season, prompting some to think of Joe Namath.

Then the wheels came off, and losses to the Saints, Dolphins, and the Bills have the Jets looking for solutions to what has happened. Sanchez wound up tossing five interceptions, while Thomas Jones rushed for 210 yards. The Jets also learned they would be without the services of Kris Jenkins, who is now out for the year with an ACL injury.

Even with this, Oakland is going to face a very dangerous opponent.

It is well known Oakland has problems in stopping the run. Oakland's win last week was done in part thanks to the Eagles and their failure to rush a lot.

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Leaving Donovan McNabb to try and pass his way to victory, John Marshall and his defense kept McNabb from getting into a comfort zone. The result was a lot of mistakes, sacks, and a game where the Eagles failed to score a touchdown.

Oakland, meanwhile has to count their blessings they did not need a lot of points. On offense, they managed 13 points, a touchdown, and two field goals. Then they relied on the defense to hold it as Oakland milked the clock to win.

Looking at this matchup, Oakland has to do three things to win this game.

First off, they need to maintain their control on defense. By asserting themselves early and keeping McNabb from getting comfortable, it forced the Eagles into a game of catchup.

This won't be easy, if Oakland is unable to stop the running game. Hopefully the Raiders defense can count on Nnamdi Asomugha to stop the passing game and let the Raiders fill the box.

Hey, if the Raiders can get an early lead, then Oakland can release the hounds on Sanchez. It worked against McNabb.

Secondly, all the Oakland offense needs is a breakout game. This has a stronger possibility with Chaz Schilens getting healthy at the right time. While Oakland's running game is still struggling to assert their control, the passing game needs to step up. Everyone knows Zach Miller is a walking weapon, so expect him to be covered.

And yes, Darrius Heyward-Bey is fooling no one.

Lastly, the simple fundamentals of football. Making tackles as needed, avoiding dumb penalties and finding a way to win can help the Raiders. Oakland's defense was a good example, as sacks were spread around, stopping the Eagles either at the line or catching the running back before he could accelerate all helped limit the team. Probably the biggest example of this was by Louis Murphy and his heads up play with Zach Miller.

If Oakland can capitalize on last week's win, the boo birds may fly south for the winter.

But keep that pigeon handy.