So the 4th quarter of the season official begins for the Oakland Raiders on the road against the defending Super Bowl Champions, the Green Bay Packers.
Oh, did I forget to mention that they are undefeated at 12-0, and are riding a 18-game winning streak (which began at the end of last season). The Silver and Black begin the back stretch of the season with a list of daunting tasks.
First, they must take on the role of becoming the proverbial streak busters and end the Packers “Reign of Terror” on the league and finally put together a blue print on how to beat Green Bay. Secondly, they have to hold off a hot Denver Broncos team that they are now tied with atop the AFC West, if they plan on winning the division. Third, they have to due all of this at less than full strength, with a number of key players injured.
Yeah good luck with that.
Back to Sunday’s game, the Raiders have two main objectives at hand; fluster Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers and control the time of possession on offense with your fourth ranked rushing attack.
Defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan must dial up a menacing game plan to rattle and slow down Green Bay’s offense. On the field, defensive tackle, Richard Seymour, must lead the Raiders charge with their “bullying” style of play. The front seven will have to put a lot of pressure on Rodgers to help out their defensive secondary, if they really want to give themselves the best chance to win Sunday’s contest.
Offensively, they can not lay another egg like they did in Miami last week. At one point against the Dolphins, the score was 34-0 through three quarters of play. So what do you think the score will be against the Packers if they have another implosion like that on offense for the second straight week? With Darren McFadden out for his fifth straight game, Raiders’ running back Michael Bush has to rush for over 100 yards if they plan on keeping Green Bay’s offense off the field.
Oakland quarterback, Carson Palmer and the Raiders’ passing attack has to be more prominent if they want to create that offensive balance. With no Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore out for consecutive games, wide receivers Darrius Heyward-Bey, Chaz Schilens and Louis Murphy will have to make plays down the field. If the passing and running game play off of one another the right way, the Raiders will be in good shape come the 4th quarter.
I know the Raiders are battling a number of injuries, but they need to conjure up some of that resiliency that has been on display throughout the middle of the season. Head coach Hue Jackson has to inspire and motivate his players to realize that they can beat the Packers, because if you want to win the division and a make a serious run in the playoffs, what better way to boost your confidence than by beating the defending Super Bowl Champs.
So I guess the presumed question for Oakland and “Raider Nation” will be, streak busting anyone?
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Written by Arthur Kai