Oakland Raiders vs. Washington Redskins
Where: O.co Coliseum
When: 1:25 PM PST/ 4:25 PM EST
Radio: 95.7 FM (The Game) (Bay Area)/ 102.1 FM/98.5 FM KFOX (Bay Area)/ 1140 AM (Sacramento)/ 104.1 FM or 103.9 FM (Central Valley)/ 830 AM (Los Angeles)
Raiders-Redskins History, and Game Scoop:
Raider Nation, today the Oakland Raiders host the Washington Redskins at the O.co, and the Redskins are bringing with them an old nemesis. That’s right, one of the many coaches that rode the coaching carousel for the Raiders, Mike Shanahan, is headed back into the black hole. Remember what happened with the Shanahan fiasco?
The year was 1988, and the Raiders were in Los Angeles. Shanahan was the first coach hired from outside the organization since Al Davis had been the head coach in the 60’s. Let’s put it this way, Shanahan and Davis didn’t get along very well. It was not a marriage made in heaven. Shanahan fired some coaches, but Davis brought them right back in. The 1988 Raiders went 7-9, and the 1989 Raiders started 1-3. What do you think happened next? Bye, bye Coach Shanahan. Al got his way. Enter in Art Shell, but that’s a whole other story.
So, Shanahan is bringing with him a Redskins team that was highly publicized in the off-season due to a knee injury suffered by the Skins up and coming quarterback, Robert Griffin, III. Old news, right? Well, RGIII is still suffering the lingering effects of recouping from a major surgery, and there are some hiccups that he has had along the way. He will enter into this game today looking to open up the field with his arm and legs. However, he will meet resistance from a decent backfield led by Charles Woodson. Although D.J. Hayden has had some rookie mistakes to date, he is beginning to get a feel for his assignments and the speed of the NFL. Remember, this was a kid who didn’t ever think he’d play football again, and he was out of football last November. He’s doing a fair job and improving in my book. He will get better.
The Raiders are averaging 108.5 rushing yards allowed per game by our defense. Redskins running back Alfred Morris has had 40 carries for a total of 225 yards, and the Redskins are going to lean on him to get the running game going. It is incumbent upon the Raiders defensive line to get that push against the Redskins offensive line. By getting the push, it will allow the linebackers and safeties to plug the gaps and stuff any running game that the Redskins try to bring.
On the flip side of the ball, Darren McFadden has to get it going today in order for the Raiders to have any chance of scoring. The Raiders offensive line must do a better job to spring him, and Offensive Coordinator Greg Olson needs to dial-up some plays that incorporate both McFadden and Marcel Reece. This will throw the Redskins off of their initial game plan, and it will create mismatches in the secondary, which will allow the Raiders receivers to get open. This, of course, hinges on whether or not the quarterback for the Raiders (Terrelle Pryor or Matt Flynn) can find and hit the open receiver with the ball.
Pretty obvious right? Gain yards to get points, sustain long offensive drives to rest the Raiders defense, and capitalize on the opportunities that will present themselves. These are the keys to todays game. I’m just going to play the “Captain Obvious” card today.
The Oakland Raiders are 1-2 looking to get back to .500. The Washington Redskins are 0-3, and they are searching for one win to get their season going. The Raiders must not allow the Redskins to get their win. In order to do so, the Raiders will need to dominate every facet of the game. Slip up just a little bit, and RGIII and the Redskins will slip by us. This, I believe, is a must win game for the Raiders. No ifs, no ands, no buts, just win it baby!