I would be lying if I said I wouldn't be rooting for the Raiders a bit more, but only because they are underdogs, who I always tend to slightly favor them.
Lets not get all high and mighty. Here are some things that we should pay attention to/expect to see on both sides of the ball:
- Huff is out injured again. Will Giordano sub in, or will Hue put Tyvon at FS and put Mitchell in at SS (as far as I know he has been participating in camp recently right?) like he was thinking about in camp? Will we see Ron Parker?
- Expect to see Ford play today. He has been out since preseason, and having him back in the lineup should bolster our passing game. Key word is "should" though. It will be interesting to see how he does against a pats secondary who is lacking CBs Ras-I Dowling and Bodden for today's game.
- Our secondary, and linebackers will likely get torched, so playing defense in the redzone will be very key this game. As Rich on the Pulpit pointed out: "Tom Brady is 25/27 (92.6%) in the first quarter for 335 yards and 3 TDs. That's absurd." That is absurd indeed (the blockquote wasn't working for me here). However s Rich also pointed out: "Brady is 19/35 (54.3%) in the fourth quarter for 348 yards, 3 TDs, and 2 INTs. That's not as good (this includes Welker's 99 yard touchdown)." So we must come out strong against the Pats on defense. I am not fond of being down by 3 TDs before the half.
- Will Boss have a big game? I say yes he would. Boss will as always be a key blocker in both the pass and running game, but I believe the pat's secondary will focus more on our WRs speed, and forget that Boss has pretty good hands, and route running ability. Chung and others helped take out Gates COMPLETELY against San Diego, but that can only mean that he was a key part of their defensive gameplan. I don't think Boss will be part of their defensive gameplan today.
- Will Campbell become the focus of this game? I know what you guys are thinking, that McFadden is the focus. Well... he is, but Campbell may step ahead later in the game. The pats secondary is lacking their two of the three starting CBs, and I don't know if Chung is playing or not (I think he is). IN the end, we will need to score points quickly against the Pats, and I think Campbell will be a huge factor this game. Of course, we must control the clock with McFadden, and get their defense tired, but I think in the end, the ball will be in Campbell's hands.
- Do not discourage their running game. BenJarvis Green-Ellis (otherwise known as BJGE and Law Firm) is a very very dependable back (hardly gets yards lost, and hasn't fumbled since highschool), Woody is a smart, quick back that somehow gets 4+ yards from nothing. The wildcard here is Stevan Ridley. He was tremendous in preseason, and he got a few touches last game. He might get more this time around. He can catch, block, and run with authority, almost raider like. Here he is in college. The pats will come out passing, but they try and keep it balanced. I would love to keep them one dimensional so stopping their running game will be nice.
- Price may Play. Imo, he reminds me of a Reggie Wayne or Desean Jackson-like WR. He is a great route runner, has great speed, and very good body control and concentration. Also Chad hasn't tweeted at all this week. Big game? lol I don't know, but either one of these two will start next to Branch on some plays, and if it's Price, watch out for him.
- So Albert isn't playing. Last week was not good at all for the pats getting pressures. Will they start blitzing this week? This only helps us more (even though I think Kyle Love is still a damn good replacement but just not as good as Albert obviously) for our running and passing game.
- Don't expect TB12 to make the same mistakes as he did against the Bills (with some help on a couple tips though, and one was a great defensive play). Just cover his guys, and pressure Brady. Both are very tough to do, which is why redzone will be extremely important this game. Getting an INT or two is not out of the realm of possibility though, and confusing Brady is not easy to do. But we must force him to make mistakes, and pressure the middle of the OL. I think that's very possible for the Raider's D.
Now that's so far what I have. I am predicting a highscoring game, both going into the 30's. Lets hope that everyone will see what the Raiders will be capable of this game.