Oakland Raiders: Weekly Rant Column: Home Opener 2014


Sep 7, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) throws a pass against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Truth be told, the New York adventure didn’t go so well. Like all things, it’s time to put the past in the past and move onto the next game. The Houston Texans will roll into town looking to improve upon their impressive win over the Washington Redskins. Of course when you have a defensive lineman like J.J. Watt, anything is possible.

The Oakland Raiders must find a way to contain the Texans most powerful asset on defense. If Watt is allowed to disrupt the Raiders offense, it will be a long day at home. In order to disrupt this beast of a DL, the Raiders will have to rely upon the game-plan of Offensive Coordinator Greg Olson. I have to admit that I do not have the most faith in his game-plans. I would have thought that Olson would have opened up the offense more in the game against the NY Jets, but that is a foregone conclusion.

Now we, Raiders fans, must rely on Olson to stop a train wrecker defensive line and better than average linebacker and defensive back corps.  There better be some better passing plays called. Olson better allow Derek Carr to do his thing. Get Rod Streater, James Jones, Brice Butler, and Denarius Moore involved more. Maybe even some packages that involve WR Andre Holmes. That’s not even scratching the surface on tight end play. Use the weapons! If the Raiders want to be a running team, then they have to do a better job of attacking at the line of scrimmage.

Furthermore, the running backs must run downhill and not side to side. That’s RB 101 from Pop-Warner Football. Then, in High School they reiterate this fact to RB’s. Again in College it’s the same rhetoric.  Why do NFL RB’s always try to run to the edges? I understand that DL, LB’s, and DB’s can dictate the direction that the ball is ran, but give me a break.  MJD and DMC (his limited appearances) were trying to run outside. Turn it up field and lower your shoulder. This is why Latavius Murray will be so valuable this week. He can lower the boom.

Defensively, the Raiders are going to have to rely upon the wisdom of Head Coach Dennis Allen (a bit scary right now) and Defensive Coordinator Jason Tarver (I have more faith in him than D.A.) to keep Ryan Fitzpatrick, Andre Johnson, and Arian Foster from making them look like fools. Blitzing packages are going to need to be called often. Luckily, it looks as though the Raiders will get Chimdi Chekwa back to help the beleaguered backfield. He will be a welcome addition to help stop Andre Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins, Keyshawn Martin, and DeVier Posey.

Raider Nation is still waiting to find out if Nick Roach will be back from the NFL Concussion Protocol or not. Taiwan Jones is being placed on the Reserve/Injured list, and the Raiders are rumored to be promoting Rookie LB Bojay Filimoeatu to the active roster. Either way, this defense needs to get the QB on the ground more often. Ryan Fitzpatrick is a veteran, but he can get riled and wild with his throws if the Raiders defense can get him running scared. Khalil Mack, Justin Tuck, LaMarr Woodley, Justin Ellis, Antonio Smith, Pat Sims, and Stacy McGee must penetrate the offensive line of the Texans in order to knock Fitzpatrick off his reads.

The New York Jets game wasn’t all bad for the Oakland Raiders. That game provided some much-needed film study that should aid them in giving the Texans some grief.  Let’s hope that the coaching staff has put a piss poor game plan behind them. It’s time to see what Derek Carr can do when the reigns have been loosened. Give Latavius Murray the ball, stretch the field, throw some inside slants and drags, and stop giving away the game with vanilla plays.