Oakland Raiders: 5 keys to victory vs. Washington Redskins

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Cordarrelle Patterson
OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Cordarrelle Patterson /
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The Oakland Raiders have a difficult road matchup on Sunday night versus the Washington Redskins. Here are five keys to victory for the Silver and Black.

Week 3 will be a tough game for the Oakland Raiders. The Silver and Black will have to travel across country to play the Washington Redskins on Sunday Night Football. Kickoff from FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland will be at 5:30 p.m. PT, 8:30 p.m ET. NBC has the national telecast.

Oakland enters play at 2-0. This is the first time in 15 years that the Raiders have gotten off to a 2-0 start. The last time this happened, Oakland won the AFC and went to the Super Bowl. A sign of good things to come? Let’s hope so.

Washington is 1-1 on the season. While the Redskins dropped their home opener to the division rival Philadelphia Eagles, they went on the road and got a great win against the Los Angeles Rams at the LA Memorial Coliseum. Washington might be good, or the Rams may just be bad. We’ll know more after Week 3.

Oakland is a slight road favorite in this game, but there is no reason for the Raiders to overlook a worthy adversary on the road in primetime. For the Raiders to come out of the nation’s capital with a win, here are five keys to victory for the Silver and Black.

Play with discipline in the secondary

Oakland is riding high after its first two wins of the season. A big reason that the Raiders have gotten to 2-0 is the good play of its defense, particularly in the secondary. It seems that the defensive backfield is taking accountability this year and really buying into assistant head coach John Pagano’s teachings.

However, the Raiders haven’t exactly gone up against a strong passing attack in the regular season thus far. The Tennessee Titans are a ground-and-pound offense that hasn’t quite figured out the aerial attack with Marcus Mariota‘s new wide receivers. Then there’s the rebuilding New York Jets, who were actually a bit better in the passing game against the Raiders than expected.

Oakland has to realize that Washington is one of the better passing offenses in football. While the Redskins haven’t been dynamic in that regard this season, head coach Jay Gruden and quarterback Kirk Cousins are capable of putting up points on even great defenses through the air. The Redskins lost a lot of pieces this offseason, but those two will certainly figure it out.

Cousins is an accurate passer and has brought stability to the Washington franchise. With him under center, the Redskins can be a .500 team and in the playoff mix in the NFC into the final two weeks. Oakland needs to play with poise in the secondary and not give up the big play to Cousins in the passing game. A major busted coverage could be the deciding factor in this tight game.