Raiders Football Preview Week 9 – Raiders vs Lions

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The Oakland Raiders come home to Oakland to host the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

 

Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Raiders return home for the first time since September 15th after 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 3-4 and currently sit in second place in the AFC West.

The Lions are off to a 3-3-1 start, and they currently sit in third place in the NFC North. The Lions are battling injuries and inconsistency at almost every position except quarterback and wide receiver so far in 2019 and will be missing their starting running back, Kerryon Johnson.

For the Raiders to come away with a win, they need to do two simple things:

 

Run the ball and control the clock.

 

The Raiders need to control the clock and keep the Lions offense 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 Lions have had some issues stopping the run, and want to get into a shoot out. The opposite of what the Raiders want. 

The Raiders’ lack of talent on defense puts added pressure on Jon Gruden’s offense, and the only way to keep the high powered passing attack of the LIons off the field is to control the clock.

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

The Lions rank 26th against the run, giving up 130.7 yards per game. The Raiders are ranked 7th in the NFL, rushing the ball to the tune of 131.4 yards per game.

The Lions defense is one that has me scratching my head. With the amount of talent they have, coupled with being coached by one of the best defensive minds in head coach Matt Patricia, why can’t they play better defense? Mike Daniels, Darius Slay, Trey Flowers, and Jarrad Davis make up a talented group of players, but they haven’t been able to translate success on the field ranking 26th in points allowed (26.6), 31st in yards allowed (420.4) and 32nd in passing yards allowed (289.7).

Since the Raiders lack the weapons outside at the receiver position and the secondary to stop Matt Stafford and the Lions passing attack, the best way to neutralize those inefficiencies is to control the clock and keep them off the field.

 

The Raiders have to get off to a fast start.

 

Photo Credit: Pride of Detroit

This hasn’t been an issue 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 script finishes. Gruden has to adjust. They can not afford to have a quarter as they had against the Chiefs, Bears or Packers.

The Raider’s secondary is far from the best in the league. You could argue that by trading away Garion Conley and playing Trayvon Mullen and Keisean Nixon, it gives the Raiders a better overall secondary. Karl Joseph hasn’t played at the level I expected, but he is still the best safety on the roster.

This week I was on with long-time Raiders sideline reporter JT the Brick and I agree with him, the Raiders only have six legitimate defensive players right now, and that side of the ball needs an overhaul.

By getting off to a fast start and controlling the clock, limiting the amount of time the defense is on the field, it gives the Raiders the best chance to win.  

 

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 1:05 PM PST on Sunday, November 3rd, 2019.

 

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