Everything to know for the Oakland Raiders regular season opener against the New Orleans Saints.
With hopes high following a banner offseason that included the signings of star cornerback Sean Smith from the Kansas City Chiefs, as well as All-Pro guard Kelechi Osemele from the Baltimore Ravens, Raider fans enter the 2016 season with optimism at an all-time high.
After 13 long years, many feel that 2016 is the year where Oakland gets over the 8-win hump and makes a push for playoff contention.
Oakland faces a Drew Brees led New Orleans Saints team that carries a pass happy attack and all-time win/loss record of 6-5-1 against the Raiders into the Superdome and despite a less than stellar 2015 season, are always dangerous and look to provide an ideal test for a revamped Raiders defense.
Saturday marks the 13th all-time meeting between the Raiders and the Saints, a history stretching back to the inaugural meeting in 1968 — a 21-21 tie. The Saints are 3-2-1 against Oakland in the famed Superdome, but look to break a three game losing streak to the Silver and Black.
The Saints are coming off a 7-9 2015 season which saw Brees throw for 4,870 yards with 32 TD’s against 11 INT’s, while the Rob Ryan/Dennis Allen led defense had an abysmal showing, giving up a league worst 29.8 points per game.
Schedule, Live Stream and Radio Broadcast
TV: 10:00am PST/1:00pm EST on FOX. Chris Myers, Ronde Barber, and Jennifer Hale will be the commentators
Live Stream: NFL GamePass
Radio: 95.7 The Game with Greg Papa
Point Spread: Oakland Raiders +1.5 point underdogs per Oddshark
Things To Know:
- If Oakland wants to be taken seriously as an AFC West contender, it starts now.
With many fans saying Oakland is the presumptive favorite in the AFC West to reign supreme, and our own Charles Woodson is picking Oakland to win Super Bowl 51, the time is now for a statement win over a potential NFC contender to show the NFL that the Raider Nation is back with a vengeance.
- Oakland MUST be able to slow down the Saints passing game.
New Orleans will live and die by the right arm of star QB Drew Brees. For Oakland to have a chance, someone opposite Khalil Mack must step up and create pressure on the Saints unflappable signal caller.
On top of that, Oakland must scheme to shadow and possibly bracket 5’10” third-year dynamo WR Brandin Cooks. Expect Cooks to be targeted early and often after a 2015 season that saw him put up 1,138 yards receiving and 9 TD’s.
- Can Latavius Murray finally step up?
After a lackluster preseason from the Raiders lead back, Murray must be able to step up and shoulder a heavy workload if the Raiders plan on keeping the ball away from a potent Saints offense.
Against a defense that gave up nearly five yards per carry and over 2,000 yards rushing last season, Murray is primed for a potential breakout game, and one that will be sorely needed for a proper gameplan to work.