The Patriots are looking to rebound off a disappointing loss from last week. They’re traveling to Oakland to face a somewhat tough Raiders team. The Patriots have by far the most productive offense in the league yards wise, however lack some quality at defense and need to fix their offensive turnover struggles (yes I am referring to Brady’s 4 picks from last week). This is definitely a matchup the Patriots should not take lightly especially after coming off a very rare loss.
The Raiders are like the Bills in a sense, most teams take them for granted, much like what the Jets did last week. Run DMC and company combined for over 200 yards rushing against “the league’s best defense” according to Rex Ryan. But we can wait a little bit to rip on the Jets. Their time will come. However, knowing the Jets can give up 200+ yards rushing, imagine how bad it could get for the Patriots.
If the Patriots are going to want to stop the run game, they’re going to have to stack 8 in the box majority of the time. At least 65% of the game; force the Raiders to pass the ball. Jason Campbell is nothing special and loves turning the ball over. He never seems to be able to make up his mind and when rattled makes a lot of careless mistakes. If the Pats can hold the running game to 120 yards or less they’ve got a pretty good shot. Not only does Campbell make mistakes, but he really has no one to throw to. Majority of the WRs are injured, so the Raiders are going to have to rely on their running game. The Patriots have to contain this part of the game and if they do so, they’ll be just fine.
As for the Patriots offense, I am expecting a lot, but what really does that mean for the top offense in the league. The Raiders bring to the table their 28th ranked pass defense and their 26th ranked rush defense. It goes without saying the Raiders defense is pretty miserable. This is going to be a great comeback game for Tom Brady and the boys. Brady is going to throw a ton again, as he has been, but may tone it down a bit in the 3rd and 4th quarters if the Patriots are supporting a lead. With a comfortable lead, there is no need for Tom to continue to throw the ball. I want to see this ground game in action and Green-Ellis pounding the ball. Take some pressure off Brady, there’s no need to put the whole offense on Brady’s back. Sure, he’s the best player, but let’s mix it up a bit.
I really do like this matchup especially with the Raiders bringing in the best rush offense in the league. I am curious to see how the Patriots defense will stack up. I am excited and expect the first half to be relatively close, maybe even a lead from the Raiders throughout most of it. However, the Patriots will pull away in the second half and I’m predicting a 34-24 bounce back victory.
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Written by David Reid