Game Plan Week Eight: How the Raiders Will Beat the Chargers

Big AL FanContributor IOctober 31, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 18:  Donovan McNabb #5 of the Philadelphia Eagles is sacked by Jay Richardson #98 of the Oakland Raiders during an NFL game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on October 18, 2009 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Last week is last week. Nothing went right. Lets be real, our season lies in the balance of this next game. We have a bye coming up after this game, and will get some players back from injury. Its time to man up and leave it all on the field, or we will be looking at another lost season. 

It is important that our guys know this we expect 60 minutes of heart. You give us this, most of us are good no matter what happens.

The Chargers are flying high coming off an impressive win on the Road against another Division Rival. We cannot afford to make mistakes. We cannot turn the ball over. We must keep it close early. Do this, and the game can open up.

Its time to lay down wood, take them to the woodshed or get took. We need to go old school Raider Football on these guys, and take it to them.

We expect for those 2-4 year young Raiders who have seen this team 4-8 times to take the lead, work hard, and bring us to the promise land.

*****Updated Section*****

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I watched the Chiefs vs Chargers game of last week to see what success the Chargers were having.

In this game, the Chiefs did not run at all.  This is why Larry Johnson was so mad.
That was the first mistake. To beat the Chargers, you have to get physical with them up front like we did in Week One.

The Chargers were running the West Coast Offense most of the game, and the Chargers game plan included a great deal of quick passes. We did not see this in Week One.

This approach, I'm sure, stems from not having an effective running game with LT not doing well. Don't get me wrong, Sproles is damn good running. He's just not a banger.

Both the receivers and tight ends were just taking a few steps, and the pass was there.  They were lined up in the slot often. The TE just kept the DB to the outside by positioning his big body on the inside, and caught and ran for six, or seven yards. This short passing attack opened up the long jump balls that Rivers was throwing to the tall (Vincent Jackson). Rivers knows Jackson can out jump anyone. Finally, they mixed in the run and Sproles was a first read on many short passes.

To defend this,

* It is critical that the Raiders shadow Sproles the entire game with Huff, or Mitchell

* It is also very critical that our DB's and Linebackers bump on the bump and run.
if we do not get the bump in, it will spell big trouble. If we do get the bump in,
the whole play is disrupted, and Rivers may panic, or get frustrated when getting plummeted. Nice thought huh?

* Focus on frustrating Rivers like we did the first game. He almost lost his head during the first game. More importantly put some heavy hits on him. On Monday, make sure he knows he was in a battle.

When on Offense,

* Every week we have been saying: Run, Run, Run, Run, Run. Do not put our QB in a bad spot. There will be plenty of chances to throw later in the game. We have to pound the ball, soften up the line, and pull the DB's in.

* Do not give the Chargers D a break. After a long successful run, do a hurry up offense play so they cannot substitute. Run again. Once the rhythm is established on the next hurry up, it will be time to take a shot deep. The DLine will be tired, and there should be time to throw. Send a WR to the deep post, and get him behind coverage.

* Pound with the ball with Bush early, then bring in Russell and Fargas to pound, then Dash.

* Go to Zach Miller until they can stop him. Send him on circle routes just a few yards out to start.

* The two TE set worked very well against the Eagles. Go with what works.
All the TE's have good hands. Even send Myers in if you can for a three-man rotation.

* I don't know if Michael Bush has dropped a pass this year. Send him out a little further, he can catch. Line him up on the line of scrimmage and try to get a LB to match up with him.

* As far as our Wide Receivers go, we all expect a better showing this week. We expect to see aggressiveness and focus. They can all catch, they just have to be more fearless, keep their focus and run good routes.

****End of Updated Section ****

Field Position

If you win the toss. Choose to kick off. They will not be expecting this, and it will throw them off a bit. The entire team needs to be on the same page here.

Special teams have to know the importance of this. Kick the ball and pin them back. The Defense has to focus on three-and-out. The Chargers will run on two-of-three plays for sure. If it works out, we will get the ball early at about mid field.

Run Hard, Run all game

Run the first three downs. Take it to them physically from the get go. The linemen must be ready to tear into the Chargers DLine. Keep running with maybe only one designed play action rollout option in the first few series. The goal here is to maintain possession, score first, and get at least a field goal. At minimum, allow Shane Lechler
to pin them back again.

Run all game long. Take no risks, and only pass once the running game is established. Run on 3rd-and-7. Do not pass on 3rd-and-long, especially in our own territory. Throw high percentage passes after the run is established.

Only then can we take a shot, or two deep.

If we get behind early, don't panic, and do not abandon the run. Never abandon the run. Its our only chance to get on track.

Position Players

Wide receivers

You have a game under your belt already against these guys, and you have an idea what to expect. Time for you to shine. This is where the experience of that one game becomes your advantage.  Study film on their DB's and use what you already know to exploit them. You too, must be ready to lay the wood.

Tight ends

You played well against these guys in the first game. Time to take what you have already accomplished and improve on this. Block like hell on running plays. Communicate with your QB in the huddle and on the sidelines when you see something that needs to be exploited or addressed.

Offensive Line

We have been saying this all season. This game is on you. Its always on you. You see a problem when lining up, communicate this to the QB. Let him know if he should call timeout if you see a play will not work. We out physicaled them the first game. Time to man up and repeat this. If for any reason, your guy gets free on a passing down, be ready to yell out to the QB so he has a chance to tuck the ball. Use coded signals if you have to.

Defensive backs

Be ready for blind jump balls from Rivers. Rivers takes a lot of chances, but they work out because his receivers know that he will throw up jump balls, and they are taller and physical. Be ready to go up and fight for these balls. That receiver starts to jump, you get up in the air an battle. If he catches it in the air, punch that ball away or pull one of his arms off. Lets go!! Time for a big game from you guys.

LT had a decent game last week, and so did Sproles. Whenever either is in the game, someone has to be assigned to shadow. Like we used to to with Tony Gonzalez, we must dedicate a body to either.

Defensive Line  

Time for redemption. You played hard last week in a physical game. You were on the field too long. Time to forget about it. After last week, every team you now face will try to run first. They will attempt to mimic the success that the Jets had. Be ready for this, and set the tone early.

Focus on what you did in Week One against the Chargers. You were very successful, but ran out of gas in the end. Get yourselves off the field by focusing on 3-and-outs. Bear down on 3rd down. Make sure everyone is on the same page—3rd down is yours, and the most important down. Sproles or LT will be the go to on 3rd down. Don't allow the LB's to play so far back this game. Slam Rivers like he has never been slammed before.

Linebackers, play to your strength. Use your speed an leverage.  Get in the backfield to disrupt the play. Position you body so you are unblockable. Get to the gap before the blocker does. Fill the empty holes on the line, many plays are designed to go one way, then cut back into the open hole after you already committed to the direction of the play and vacated the hole.

Coaches, put your team in position for success. Play within our capabilities first, then build on this. We have been over-extending our young guys on Offense asking them to do the impossible.

We have talent at many positions. Use Seabass, use Lechler, use Mike Mitchell. Let Darrius Heyward-Bey return kicks like Tim Brown use to. Allow Michael Bush to run and Churn all day then once they are softened, bring Fargas fresh off the bench to run through a dinged up defense.

Send the tight ends on Circle routes just behind the linebackers—allowing our TE's to put the hits on thier DB's. Execute that end-around to DHB, or Higgins, but they must be in motion at least one play prior. 

Trust your QB, but also do not put him in impossible situations. With our line banged up and no offensive identity, only if we run, will he have the opportunity to succeed.

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