The Oakland Raiders showed the true potential of their explosive offense last season under the reign of Hue Jackson. Needless to say Greg Knapp has revised Hue Jackson’s bag of tricks to an offense molded around check down passes. The Chargers had no problem limiting the silver and black to a single touchdown last week. On the other hand the defense looked thirsty, and played with a passion that has long been gone from that side of the ball. Rookie Coach Dennis Allen surely used the word springboard in the locker room on monday night, so what does Oakland need to do to rebound.
5) The Raiders must be prepared for injury! Lets face facts the NFL is a brutal buisness. A man’s career could be done in a split second and all it takes is taking the wrong step or landing funny. Oakland needs to be able to use the next man up philosophy, and fill in for injured players without throwing the game away. Nobody expects the backup longsnapper to play like a Pro Bowler, but that next man up has to be relied on to do his job efficiently. Chances are somebody will go down today. Will Oakland be ready?
4) Carson Palmer has to continue playing like an elite qaurterback! Palmer showed Raider Nation last week that he could finish a game without giving the ball away once. Can he continue to play turnover free? Palmer threw for close to 300 yards, and a single touchdown. The latter of the two is something that needs to be fixed, but in my opinion that is the work of Greg Knapp not Palmer. If Palmer can put up similar numbers today against a weak Fins team the Raiders will be able to add their first win.
3) The Raider’s defense needs to play like the thirsty animals that contained a talented San Diego team last week! The Mckenzie era is completly underway, and nothing is more visible then the play of the defense. Who would of thought that a team would only score one touchdown in Oakand. Even more surprising was the ability to stop the run. Jason Tarver and the Raiders defense needs to continue to give Palmer the oppurtunity to run the checkdown pass offense.
2) Disciplined football is winning football! If football doesnt work out for the Raiders they can always open up their own laundry mat, but I’d rather see them fix their penalty problem. Since day one Dennis Allen has promised discipline in Oakland. However, to the dismay of Raider Nation the penalties did not stop. In fact team captain, Tommy Kelly, almost gave the Chargers their only touchdown with his two third down offsides penalties. The answer is simple. Don’t be stupid!
1) The Raiders offense needs to be explosive. There is no excuse for having only one touchdown in a game. Greg Knapp has been given a top tier running back, a big armed qaurterback, banged up but explosive recievers, and an offensive line that gains more talent every season. If the rushing game doesnt get going Knapp cant go Hue Jackson and blame the players. Anything less then three touchdowns today is an utter dissapointment for the Raiders. Darren McFadden should have at least 150 yards rushing. Carson Palmer should have at least 200 yards passing. Will these things happen? Greg Knapp is at the wheel of this car and it is up to him whether or not to stay in the Buick lane or let that car transform into Optimus Touchdown.
The Raiders will need the win and all the positive energy that goes along with a win as the Pittsburgh Steelers will be coming into town next week.
P.S. Fantasy owners should be starting their Raider players today. Look for McFadden, Palmer, and the defense t