A.J. Green is only in his second season in the NFL but he’s already established himself as one of the elite receivers in the game. Already this season Green has found the end zone 10 times and has a TD in nine consecutive games. That streak looks very likely to continue against the hapless defense of the Oakland Raiders.
Touted as defensive coach, Dennis Allen’s team has been completely defenseless this season. Many assumed things couldn’t have gotten any worse than the Chuck Bresnahan debacle of 2011. How wrong were we to assume that?
Things might be worse now than ever before. Chucky B’s defense never surrendered the kind of point totals Allen and his coordinator Jason Tarver are allowing on their watch.
With a depleted secondary and virtually no pass rush to speak of it doesn’t bode well for a defense prone to giving up big plays. Green just so happens to be one of the best big play receivers in the game.
Green’s size, route running and his ability to make the most difficult catch with ease will be a challenge Oakland might not be up for. Let’s just be honest about this. The Raiders have made middle of the road receivers look like All-Pros. So how exactly are they going to slow the roll of Green?
The most obvious solution is to rediscover the pass rush that terrorized NFL QBs one year ago. Coach Allen can make whatever excuse he wants. With the same front four the Raiders were among the leagues best at getting to the quarterback under Bresnahan.
Even with Richard Seymour out of action you’d expect Tommy Kelly to step up or for the scheme to get a little cleverer is disguising blitzes and mixing packages.
If Andy Dalton is given enough time to build Ikea furniture behind the line then you can bet the house Green will get off in epic fashion. If so then be prepared to revisit the Doug Martin debacle of a few weeks back. Oakland had no answer for Martin during their loss to Tampa Bay. The same could happen again Sunday as one player could be the difference in the contest. A.J. Green is that good.