Oakland Raiders Game Plan: Week 4 (Chicago Bears)

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Sep 27, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Oakland Raiders linebacker Khalil Mack (52) forces a fumble by Cleveland Browns quarterback Josh McCown (13) in a NFL game at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Raiders defeated the Browns 27-20. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The 3-4

OLB Khalil Mack is one of the most dominant players in the NFL when the Raiders run the 3-4. The Cleveland Browns have one of the best pass blocking offensive lines in the game and he got his first two sacks out of that alignment. Plus the Raiders have Aldon Smith, another dominant 3-4 OLB, who should be ready to break out as a Raider.

The Raiders having five sacks against the best pass-blocking offensive line they’ve played this year blitzing out of the 3-4 tells you something. The pressures, hits and disruptions helped too and the Raiders’ corners can use all the help the can get. Sunday, they will have to cover crafty route-running Eddie Royal along with big, fast and physical Jeffery which means that the Raiders defense will want to give Cutler or Jimmy Clausen as little time in the pocket as possible to find their offensive weapons.

The 3-4 will also help stop the run because Mack and Smith set the edge hard and turn running plays back inside. Curtis Lofton and especially Malcolm Smith will get to anything the outside linebacker turn back inside. And the Bears can forget about running the ball up the middle on Dan Williams at nose tackle.

Williams is more dominant in a 3-4 because he lines up right on the nose and can control the middle better than shading to one side. That’s why the Raiders gave up only 39 yards rushing to the Browns in the 3-4 after giving up an average of 117.5 yards per game in the 4-3.

Next: Charles Woodson on Martellus Bennett