The Oakland Raiders take on the San Diego Chargers in their first division game of the season. The Raiders have lost 13 straight games to their rival, and need to put a halt to that streak immediately. Oakland comes into this game shorthanded without one of the league leading rushers as running back Darren McFadden is out with a hamstring injury. Perfect timing right? Coming off two straight losses, the Raiders need this win in the worst way and so does Raider Nation. Here are a few objectives the Raiders must conquer to get a much needed win.
Against the run, the Raiders defense is so vulnerable that I don’t even have an analogy to explain the porous play. The Chargers don’t have the fierce running game they once had, so lets not turn another average running back into an overnight Pro Bowler. John Henderson’s out indefinitely, so defensive tackles Tommy Kelly and Richard Seymour must take on the challenge of containing the run, and making San Diego one dimensional. The Raiders defensive strength is their pass defense and the Chargers offensive strength is their passing game. Which strength steps up to the challenge? That will be the key matchup to watch.
Offensively, the Raiders have shown good and bad spurts, but they need to remain consistent as they head into Sunday’s game without their dual threat McFadden. Hopefully fellow running back Michael Bush has worked his way back into the flow of the offense, because he will be needed to create the balance that the offense needs to be successful against their rivals. Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson needs to have a solid game plan in affect to overcome the loss of McFadden. If tight end Zach Miller can have a game similar to last week (11 catches, 122yards), get quality production out of the young Raiders’ wide-outs and if Bush could provide a consistent running threat, then the Raiders will be in good shape come the 4th quarter. But you have to admit its not good when the word “If” is apart of your offensive game plan.
Head Coach Tom Cable knows a win against the Chargers can restore some confidence and a positive outlook on the rest of the season for Oakland. The Raiders always play hard for Cable, but the “W” always eludes his team’s grasp. I think myself, and Raider Nation only has one thing to say come Sunday “Just Win Cable Win!”
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Written by Arthur Kai