Raiders Football Preview Week 7 – Raiders vs Packers

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The Oakland Raiders travel to the mecca of football, Lambeau Field to take on the 5-1 Green Bay Packers on Sunday.

 

New Raiders Football Preview Week 7 - Raiders vs Packers
Photo credit: packersnews.com

The Raiders are at the tail end of a brutal road trip that has had them play games all over the world. With that travel schedule and a season that has had multiple distractions, the Raiders come in 3-2 and currently sit in second place in the AFC West.

The Packers are off to a hot start and are lead by former NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers and new head coach Matt LaFleur. Unlike past years, the Packers have a very good defense and one of the NFL’s better 1-2 punches at running back.

In order for the Raiders to come away with a win here is what they need to do:

Run the ball and control the clock.

The Raiders need to control the clock and keep Rodgers and the Packers off the field. Josh Jacobs has given the Raiders an identity on offense and is one of the NFL’s best young running backs. The Packers have had some issues stopping the run, most notably against the Philadelphia Eagles on the national stage. 

There is a long time saying in the NFL: “The run game travels well.”

Raiders vs Bears Game balls
Photo courtesy of Silver and Black Pride

The Packers rank 24th against the run, giving up 124.5 yards per game. The Raiders are ranked 8th in the NFL, rushing the ball to the tune of 138.6 yards per game.

Even with the NFL’s best nose tackle in Kenny Clark, the Packers run defense is not very good. Raiders center Rodney Hudson and guards Ritchie Incognito and the returning Gabe Jackson will have their hands full with Clark. But the Packers other defensive linemen are average at best or young, so the Raiders should be fine up-front against them.

Raiders need a balanced offense against the Packers.

Even with the ability to run the ball successfully against the Packers, the Raiders need to be able to throw the ball. The Packers have arguably the best young cornerback duo in the NFL with budding superstar Jaire Alexander and Oakland native Kevin King.

New Raiders Football Preview Week 7 - Raiders vs Packers
Photo credit: packers.com

Derek Carr can not check down all day on Sunday. He has to take some chances and throw the ball deep against the talented Packers secondary.

This won’t be easy since starting wide reciever Tyrell Williams is most likely out with plantar fasciitis. There isn’t another receiver on the roster that makes teams scheme against them. The WR corp of Hunter Renfrow, Keelan Doss, Zay Jones, Dwayne Harris, and former Packer Trevor Davis won’t won’t be giving Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine nightmares, unfortunately.

The Raider receivers need to win their one on one match-ups against the Packers defensive backs for the offense to truly balance out.

One player that the Packers defensive staff would be smart to scheme for is Darren Waller. If Waller can continue to play at the same level he started the season off with; he could be the “X factor” against the Packers. Veteran cornerback Tramon Williams will most likely be matched-up on Waller when the Packers go into “nickel,” and Williams has had success limiting opposing teams’ tight ends so far in 2019.

If the Raiders’ passing attack is remotely successful, it will help open up the running game and cause issues for the Packers.

On defense, the Raiders needs to force the Packers to pass.

This sounds ass-backward. Force Aaron Rodgers to beat you? YES, that is precisely what I am saying.

One of the NFL’s best wide receivers, DeVante Adams, is out for the 3rd straight game, and the Packers don’t know if Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Geronimo Allison will be able to play due to injuries. That means Jake Kumerow, Allen Lazard, Darrius Shepherd, and former Raider Ryan Grant maybe the Packers top 4 receivers on Sunday.

New Raiders Football Preview Week 7 - Raiders vs Packers
Photo Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Rodgers makes players better around him, but I can’t remember a time when he has lost his top 3 receivers for an extended period. While it remains to be seen if MVS and Allison can go, the Packers and head coach Matt LaFleur will most likely lean heavily on the running game.

The Raiders need to stop the Packers running backs, Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams. While Rodgers is one of the best to ever play the quarterback position, if they can force the Packers to become a one-dimensional team and force the Packers reserve receivers to make plays, it gives them a better chance to leave Lambeau with a victory.

The Raiders have to get off to a fast start.

This hasn’t been an issue for the Raiders since Jon Gruden came back as the head coach. The Raiders are one of the better teams when going off the script to start the game. But where the Raiders have to continue to improve is when the scripted plays are done and Gruden has to adjust. They can not afford to have a quarter as they had against the Chiefs or the Bears.

This Packers team is not the Bears. Chase Daniel is not playing quarterback for them. Aaron Rodgers is and he will make you pay for your mistakes. The Packers are a team that is as complete as any in the NFL. The Raiders need to get off to a fast start, be able to control the clock on offense, and put touchdowns on the board instead of field goals.

There is no way the Raiders can settle for 3 points when they have the opportunity to put 7 on the board. If they do against Rodgers and Co. they can expect a very tough game and a long flight home from Green Bay.  

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If you want a place to watch the game, head to Al’s Garage in Summerlin. There are multiple televisions to watch all the games. Al’s has “Happy Hour” starting at 9 AM and ending at 9 PM. Al’s Garage is located at 11760 W. Charleston Boulevard, Las Vegas, Nevada 89135. The game begins at 10:00 AM PST on Sunday, October 20th, 2019.

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