The Browns have had two weeks to prepare for this match-up against the Raiders so they should come out firing. It certainly should be an interesting match-up in many senses. Oakland may have a lot of passion and energy in their first home game after the passing of Al Davis. They however could also easily fall flat after an emotion-filled win last week. This game also features two former backfield teammates in Darren mcFadden and Peyton Hillis. Both players figure to be featured heavily in the game too. mcFadden is having a great season and will be able to run on the Browns and the Raiders rush D has been a glaring weakness. While McFadden is the better back, both backs will likely have similarly good games.
Both teams have similar strengths and weaknesses. Both the Raiders and the Browns can get pressure on the QB and are good against the pass, but they both tend to struggle against the run. The Browns D does need to step it up after its performance against Tennessee. They couldn’t get pressure on the QB and while the Titans O-Line has been very good, so has the Raiders. If the Browns can’t get pressure like they got in their first 3 games, that will leave the secondary exposed.
It is looking like Joe Haden will not be playing on Sunday so the secondary will be weakened. While the Raiders don’t have a powerhouse passing offense, they are efficient and they can make big plays. As the Browns showed against the Titans, they can be susceptible to big plays. On the other side of the ball, the Raiders secondary should be able to play well. The Browns have struggled at times to pass the ball efficiently, partially due to them having very poor WR play.
This is going to be a key game for Colt McCoy because of how the WRs have been playing. Peyton Hillis can get it going against the Raiders but not if they load up 8 men in the box. Colt has to take the pressure off of Hillis by being efficient in the passing game. The Raiders LBs tend to not do well in coverage so 2 TE sets with Evan Moore and Ben Watson could be very effective.
Keys to the game for the Browns:
1. Establish the pass early. If Colt can’t get it going early, that means they don’t have to respect the pass. The Browns should be ablle to run on them well as long as they aren’t always expecting it and loading up the box.
2. The front 7, especially up the middle. On D, the name of the game is to stop Darren McFadden. Considering their lack of depth in the secondary, they can’t afford to play 8 men in the box. Phil Taylor and Ahtyba Rubin need to get a good push on the D-Line and D’Qwell Jackson needs to be a playmaker against the run.
3. Pat Schurmur. So far, Schurmur’s gameplans have left something to be desired. Good planning can beat this Raiders team and he has had 2 weeks to plan.
Prediction: Raiders 27, Browns 24: Raiders D comes out flat but the Browns really miss Haden
About the Author
Written by Bradley Ross
Bradley Ross was born and lived most of his life in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. He grew up with a passion for sports and Cleveland teams, instilled in him by his father. He is currently studying Business/Journalism at Cuyahoga Community College and plans on transferring to the Ohio State University in the winter with an expected graduation date of 2013. He is currently a Staff Writer for the Tri-C Voice Newspaper, which was a recipient of an award for the best non-daily newspaper at a 2 year college (northeast region). He runs multiple blogs off of the blogger platform including The Take By The Lake, a sports blog. Sports is his passion and he enjoys being able to write about them and cover them. He also enjoys improvisational humor, long walks on the beach, and writing in the 3rd person. Follow him on Twitter @BRoss_Voice.