The stories of the Oakland Raiders' opponent in Green Bay Sunday and their potential path to perfection have already grown tiresome. The Raiders' face plant on the road last week in Miami did little to inspire confidence in those who've doubted the Raiders, and even believers are hard pressed to predict a Raiders' win given the many injuries and inability to find the end zone or any semblance of consistency and relief from the dreaded penalties that haunt us, stalling drives or moving the chains for opponents, often giving prime red zone scoring opportunities.
But this Sunday's game offers a unique opportunity to those the prior weeks and chances to establish a division lead alone: it's an opportunity to turn the NFL world upside down.
Bear with me here... and hit the jump to read onInterestingly enough, there are very favorable matchups in this game not immediately apparent from the surface. One needs to look at how GB does it to see it's efficiency, athleticism on both sides of the ball and in the trenches, and on defense, an opportunistic and hungry defense that gives up a lot of big plays and yards but has the luxury of looking for shots at getting their offense the ball back. The Oakland Raiders strength on defense--if it can truly be called that--has to lie in its ability to get to the qb on defense and apparently likes the opportunity to play nickel and dime coverages getting extra cover guys on the field especially against passing offenses with multiple big and elusive weapons such as GB with Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Donald Driver and Jermichael Finley. They lack a premier back to be the threat that found these packages susceptible in games vs. Buffalo early on when Jackson torched us, and even NE with a simliar attack used rookie Ridley.
This plays into our getting extra defensive backs and safeties on the field, and we'll be getting CJ and Lito Sheppard in on lots of nickel, and add'l safeties in Huff, Giordano, and Mitchell, who might just match up brilliantly with the likes of their respective opponents, and since we'll also have to be constantly looking to contain or spy Rodgers, if they go run while we're in this personnel package we should still be able to make some plays in the backfield or for short gains.
They're not a team that has a strong running attack, partially because they haven't needed it, but they look for some production to keep the air show going, and that should also play into our strengths on the defensive side of the ball (of course depending on which defense of ours shows up; I'm expecting a strong showing this time, meaning holding GB to less than forty). Defensively, they're horrible both against the run and the pass, and give up a lot of big plays and TDs to WRs, TEs, and RBs in both the run game and the pass game, but are second in the league in takeaways (4 fumbles, 23 ints=very impressive).
We'll need to be able to execute some shovel passes and double play actions, and I mean execute, to keep GB's defensive attack on their heels and also be ready to exploit them with runs in pass situations and passes in run situations on audibles. I'm expecting Carson to shine doing this in this battle. We'll need to look to disrupt passing lanes and bat balls down where we can't get to or pressure Rodgers.
A victory is unlikely, but the Raiders have in recent history performed their best when almost no one in the world is expecting us to do just that. I benched Ben Roethlisberger in my fantasy league and will instead start Carson Palmer, who could eclipse even Aaron Rodgers numbers this weekend.
I wish I could say I was more confident in all of this actually occurring, but I have an odd complete lack of confidence in GB on the flip side going into this, and besides it being a rule of mine to never bet on or against our Oakland Raiders, I wouldn't touch GB minus however many or even to win with a 120 yard pole... For those of you out there who can't wait to say you are certain you'll collect on your Packers wager, good luck, and let us know how that works out for you either way, m'kay?
We lose the game, and the world champion Packers did what they were supposed to do, and the world remains unshocked for at least one more Sunday, and many experts still predict both the Raiders and Denver will make the playoffs despite losses for either or both this week. I say I need a shellacking old school Raider style to re-instill confidence in me that this team is good enough to make a run at the playoffs, and I'd just bet that will be enough for even the doubters as well.
Say...just what is Green Bay packing anyways? Click on the link to find out: LINK