Oakland Raiders Week 3 Game Plan

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August 14, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders tight end Clive Walford (88) runs a route during the second quarter in a preseason NFL football game against the St. Louis Rams at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Rams 18-3. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Don’t Forget the Tight End

As I see this as a big part of the game plan, I hope Clive Walford is ready to start at tight end. I’m fine with Mychal Rivera on passing downs but the Browns will know that the offense will not be running with him in the game in placing of blocking TE Lee Smith. The Raiders need a do-it-all tight end and Walford is the guy plus he’s a deep threat as shown during his time with the Miami Hurricanes.

Using Walford, the Raiders could then take a couple of shots down the field off play action with the tight end. The tight end is the main guy the opposing teams don’t cover on play action as linebackers and strong safeties are concerned about the run. I understand Browns outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo is a good coverage linebacker but he can’t stop Walford.

Walford is going to be special and if Donte Whitner tries to cover him, that matchup is over. Of course, Carr is going to be looking for Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree early and often. But especially off play action, the Raiders will be able to do some things using the tight end. If there was ever a game for Clive Walford to have his breakout game in the NFL, Sunday is that game as the Raiders should give him an increase in targets if they want to have a balanced passing attack.

Next: Defense: Blitz