It will be hard, but the Oakland Raiders haven a puncher’s chance in this game with the New England Patriots. Here are the Raiders’ five keys to victory.
Fate would have it that the Oakland Raiders will be playing arguably their toughest game of the season with their playoff hopes on the line. But here we are. It’s New England Patriots week and let’s hope the Silver and Black are ready for Tom Brady and company on Sunday afternoon.
This game will not be played in the Bay Area, but rather in Mexico City. Technically, this is a home game for the Raiders, but it will be played at the iconic Estadio Azteca. Let’s not forget that this game will be played at over 7,000 feet above sea. We should still be getting a great game nonetheless.
This will be the featured late afternoon game on CBS this week with Jim Nantz and Tony Romo in the booth to call it. Kickoff from Estadio Azteca in Mexico City will be at 1:25 p.m. PT, 4:25 p.m. ET on Nov. 19. The Patriots are favored in this one, but this is a game that the Raiders can definitely find a way to win.
Oakland seems to be a team that plays its best ball when its back is against the wall. Going against arguably the best team in the AFC at a neutral-site won’t be easy, but here are the five keys to victory for the Silver and Black.
Don’t be afraid to roll the dice a few times.
The last thing the Raiders can do in this game is play tight. If they play rigid, then the Raiders have no chance at an upset victory. New England tends to get inside of an opponent’s head, especially when the opposing team has to visit them at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. However, this one is south of the border down in Mexico City.
This feels like one of those games where the Raiders need to be okay with the big gamble or two. Rolling the dice to try to catch the Patriots off guard wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. So how are the Raiders going to be able to do this?
Well, you could look for a special teams trick play. Hopefully, that doesn’t go like the Marquette King fake punt we saw in Week 4 versus the Denver Broncos, but you get the gist. This isn’t a game that quarterback Derek Carr needs to be ultra-conservative. So what if he gets picked off once or twice? Aren’t the Raiders better off seeing him rip it deep to Amari Cooper or Johnny Holton on play-action?
Catching the Patriots napping once or twice could be huge in the Raiders pulling off this upset. Whether it is going for it on fourth down at midfield or for two after a touchdown, Jack Del Rio cannot leave any stone unturned in the biggest matchup of the year. Oakland has to go all-in on this game. The season is riding on it.