How the Oakland Raiders Can Make it Any Given Sunday Against Patriots
Keep Branch on Gronkowski
Corners Chimdi Chekwa, Tarrelle Brown and Carlos Rogers should be able to handle the Patriots’ receiver corps. Therefore, the Raiders should stay in bump-and-run coverage against the Patriots to take away the dink-and-dunk. If the Raiders sit back in a zone against Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, that zone is going to get picked apart.
Brady is 3-20 throwing the ball 15-plus yards down the field so far this year so don’t give him anything to get going. Rob Gronkowksi is the Patriots’ most dangerous weapon and strong safety Tyvon Branch matches up very well with him. Back in 2011, Branch held Gronkowski to only one catch for 15 yards and no touchdowns on five targets as Branch had a pass defensed.
It was receiver Wes Welker that killed the Raiders defense with nine catches for 158 yards and a touchdown back then. But he is now with the Denver Broncos so that leaves Branch to take away Brady’s only real receiving threat. Gronkowski isn’t what he was in 2011 right now so that makes Branch’s matchup with him even better for the Raiders.