Oakland Raiders Week 3 Game Plan

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August 30, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Khalil Mack (52) during the second quarter in a preseason NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals at O.co Coliseum. The Cardinals defeated the Raiders 30-23. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Defense: Blitz

Despite not having a sack in the first two games, the Raiders pass rush isn’t as bad as you think. Even without a single sack, Pro Football Focus has the Raiders at No. 15 in the NFL with three quarterback hits and 13 hurries. Outside linebacker Aldon Smith has been playing football for two weeks now so he should have shaken the rust off from being out five weeks after his release from the Niners.

All of Smith’s team-leading six hurries came in Sunday’s win over the Baltimore Ravens to show he’s getting there with his pass rush as he gets more reps. Speaking of getting there, Khalil Mack should have had a sack against the Ravens but quarterback Joe Flacco got away. Mack has been getting double-teamed and chipped a lot but started to get there in the second half last Sunday.

But what the Raiders need to do more of on Sunday is blitz because it was effective against the Ravens. They blitzed Flacco 19 times and according to PFF, Flacco completed just 10 of 19 passes for an average of 5.8 yards per attempt. Compare that to 22 of 26 for 10.5 yards per attempt when they didn’t blitz and you can see why the Raiders need to dial up the pressure more often.

If it’s working that well compared to when they don’t there’s no reason not to keep blitzing. It will also stop the Browns from being able to scheme so much around Mack. Browns quarterback Josh McCown was sacked 36 times in 11 games last season and fumbled 10 of them so it could mean turnovers for the Raiders. It is time to finally get to the QB in a game on the road where the Raiders will need to rattle the QB and that means more blitz packages from defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr.

Next: Put Woodson on the Tight End