Oakland Raiders Week 2 Preview: Keys to the Game

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Sep 13, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders fullback Marcel Reece (45) is congratulated by tight end Mychal Rivera (81) after scoring a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals in the fourth quarter at O.co Coliseum. The Bengals defeated the Raiders 33-13. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

5. Get the Tight Ends Involved

Last week the Raiders tight ends together managed a whopping 2 receptions for five yards while the wide receivers and running back groups each managed 14 receptions. This cannot be the case against the Ravens if the Raiders are going to have success offensively.

The Ravens have a very solid secondary, including corners Jimmy Smith and Ladarius Webb, both quality cover corners who can keep the Raider wideouts at bay. Safeties Will Hill and Kendrick Lewis are also solid in coverage. The Raiders are going to need their tight ends to get involved in the pass game this week in order to take the pressure off the wideouts, as well as to force Hill and Lewis to defend the seams and allow Cooper some looks deep along the sideline.

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  • Clive Walford showed a lot of promise as a deep seam type of tight end who can attack free safeties in college, but having missed camp with an injury, is still behind the curve. Mychal Rivera, meanwhile, has shown that he can be a productive receiver, especially down the stretch last season. If the Raiders can get Rivera involved in the passing game, it could open things up for Amari Cooper to have more single coverage, which he should be able to exploit.

    And of course when you talk about Raiders tight ends getting into the passing game you should mention Marcel Reece. Reece can line up like a move tight end or H-back and attack the seams or create mismatches to the outside probably better than any tight end on the roster, and showed late last week that he can still be a dangerous receiving threat. Bill Musgrave needs to find a way to get Reece into the mix in the passing game to give Carr one more weapon to rely on in key situations.

    Next: Keys to the Game: Summary