The Tampa Bay Buccaneers come to Oakland. Two teams who have spent the last decade in mediocrity fight for footholds in their separate divisions. For the Bucs it will be a game to continue the agitation of Raider Nation that began with that nasty 48-21 Super Bowl defeat. For the Raiders this game will validate the legitimacy of Oakland’s intention of being contenders in the AFC West. Despite the 3-4 record the Bucs and the Raiders have proven their dangerous potential. The Vikings can tell you all about the threat of Freeman’s passing and Doug Martin’s impressive rookie season rushing the ball. Of course Matt Ryan wont be forgetting the defensive performance Oakland displayed against the intimidating Falcons.
So with two ex-Lombardi contenders and only one winner come Sunday night. What must the Raiders do to ensure they don’t find themselves in second place.
5) Tampa Bay has more then just one threat in the passing game! The Raiders have to be able to defend against former Bolt Vincent Jackson and, just as lethal, Mike Williams. Williams has proved that he can be lethal when he is not game planned for. With Bartell back in the game the secondary in the East Bay may be a bit stronger than in previous weeks. With any luck Bartell will provide the secondary with a much needed spark.
4) Tampa’s passing game will be open all day if Oakland’s defensive line lacks pressure! Richard Seymour and co. must bring their A-game. If Oakland comes out against Tampa like they did against Pittsburgh then this game will be over. This Buccaneer team cannot be taken lightly. Their offense is one good tight end away from being as deadly as Matty Ice’s dirty birds.
3) The Raiders cannot allow themselves to self destruct! That means you Dennis Allen! Use you’re timeouts wisely, and do not make rookie coach mistakes. Ask Hue Jackson what happens when a rookie coach messes up.
2) The Raiders have to establish a running game! The Bucs defense has effectively stopped the run game all season. Meaning this week will truly be a test for McFadden to prove whether or not he can play in big games this year. Darren McFadden has not exactly lived up to expectations this year (zone blocking or not).
1) The Raiders must also be able to stop the run! The Buc’s like to hand the ball to rookie Doug Martin who has lead this offensive attack. The Raiders traditionally bad run defense has to step up.
P.S. Start Carson Palmer, Denarius Moore, and Sebastian Janikowski.