Oakland Raiders Week 9 Primer: Immaculate Destruction

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Nov 1, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) scrambles away from pressure against the Cincinnati Bengals during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The Bengals won 16-10. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Making it Three in a Row

First it was an overwhelming passing offense with a quarterback coming off a 500 yard performance, destroyed. Next came the biggest baddest defense in the league and they were picked apart. Now the Raiders face a proven version of themselves. A team that is more offense than defense and has no problem pouring it on early and often.

The Steelers come into this game lacking their very talented running back Le’Veon Bell and with a very talented quarterback coming off of a moderate knee injury. Oakland should be prepared to get into an intense shootout and should have no qualms going toe to toe in an offensive slobber knocker.

Luckily for the Raiders, they have the speed on the back end to match up decently against the talented Steelers’ wide receivers. DJ Hayden with his quickness and loose hips has the athleticism to keep up with Antonio Brown. The idea that he will shut him down is ludicrous, but he can keep up with him and in the end limit his overall impact. On the other side, Amerson is a long cornerback with long speed and can be a nice matchup against Martavius Bryant. Carrie’s versatility will allow him to be a solid double team man.

Tight end Heath Miller is coming off of a 10 catch 100 yard game and the Raiders are lacking their shut down tight end man Neiron Ball. They do however still have Malcolm Smith who has shown a decent ability to cover the tight end. Between Smith, Woodson, and Asante the Raiders have the ability to limit Miller. Even without Ball to cover the tight ends, the Raiders can do enough to not get torn to shreds. What has really changed the tight end outcomes has been the shift to man defense.

Offensively, the Raiders need to continue to do what they do best. The Steelers are another blitz heavy defense and we saw last week how to beat those defenses, spread them out. Defensively, the Steelers have a rock solid nose tackle and a very quick set of linebackers. The blitzes can confuse an offensive line and create pressure, but the Raider’s offensive line has coped well with diverse blitz schemes.

Once the Raiders begin to set up the passing game against those mediocre cornerbacks, they can then shift to the run game and push around those young outside linebackers. Howard was truly impressive as a run blocker going against the Jets with the off tackle run game. With Howard pulling and getting out in front, the Raiders could push around this front if properly set up.


I fully expect the Raiders to walk into Pittsburgh and fight hard in a tremendous shootout. The points should be flowing in this game and Raider Nation will be on edge for the entire 60 minutes. This team has the potential to be truly special and to catapult this franchise into prominence within an old AFC West.

Prediction: Steelers 27, Raiders 31

Next: Week 9 Primer: ATS Picks