Oakland Raiders: Keys to success against the Detroit Lions
Aug 8, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Oakland Raiders assistant head coach/offensive line Tony Sparano talks to his team during a break in the game with the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium. Vikings win 10-6. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
It’s gameday, and the second Preseason game for the Oakland Raiders will be against the Detroit Lions at O.co Coliseum. The Lions are a team that has invested a lot of money in speed, size, and physicality for their offensive weapons. Furthermore, one of the better QB’s in the NFL will face off against the Raiders secondary, and this will be a really good test for Oakland.
Last week, Matt Cassel picked apart the Raiders secondary (Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers) while connecting with Cordell Patterson and Greg Jennings on the Minnesota Vikings first drive. The drive went for a total of 70 yards and ended with a 1-yard touchdown. It was clear that neither Brown or Rogers were ready for this game. They struggled all too often. Once again, both will be faced with a daunting task of trying to cover both Golden Tate and Calvin Johnson (Megatron).
After an intense two days of battling against the Dallas Cowboys, I hope that Brown and Rogers have dusted off the rust. Rookie CB T.J. Carrie had an impressive showing against the Cowboys top WR Dez Bryant, and it may be time to see how he does against a WR like Johnson. QB Matthew Stafford will be throwing and throwing often in this game. The secondary will be tested early and continue to be tested while the first string offense is on the field. Let’s hope that the Raiders defensive front can penetrate the Lions hefty offensive line and cause Stafford to be off balance.
It’s time for Matt Schaub to move this offense down the field and score a touchdown. He needs to be able to count on the weapons in his arsenal, and those weapons (Rod Streater, James Jones, Andre Holmes, Mychal Rivera, Marcel Reece, etc…) need to secure the football and stop the drops. Offensive Coordinator Greg Olson should open up the playbook and dump out the vanilla. It’s time to run the football down the throats behind this beefy offensive line. A few “West Coast” dump off passes and quick slants, a screen, take a shot, maybe another, then stuff it into the end zone.
Last week the Raiders first string defense was able to sack Cassel once, but they still allowed the Vikings to continue down the field for a score. I want to see this defense stop the Lions in their tracks. Put Stafford on the ground. A couple 3 and outs would be nice. No points scored on them would be great, but I’ll even take the 1’s only allowing 3 points.
Intensity, intensity, intensity! That’s what needs to carry over from the week with the Dallas Cowboys. This team has to show the excitement they derived from the fans in Oxnard. No doubt Raider Nation will be in full force for the first home game of the season. The new Raiders players will get their first true taste of the Black Hole, and they will be able to channel the energy that is created within the coliseum. I expect to see improvement in all facets of the Oakland Raiders team. It’s time for Raiders football. Go Raiders!