Greetings Raider Nation! It is I, RaiderDamus, the sultan of sage, the prince of prescience, the dean of divining, and the World's Freshest Man. I come to you today to tell you what the Great Unknown has shown me concerning the upcoming Raider game. After the jump, all will be revealed to you as it has been to me.
Do you remember the old NES game Tecmo Bowl? If so, you may remember that Bo Jackson is possibly the greatest and most powerful video game character of all time. If not, let me refresh your memory:
Bo Jackson Tecmo Super Bowl for Nintendo: Highlights from a 99-0 Victory- Bo Knows (via lichiro131)
This game will sort of be like that, with Darren McFadden playing the role of Bo Jackson. The Patriots will not be able to stop him, and although the Patriots will put up a lot of points themselves, their run defense will be shredded to pieces. However, because the Patriots are so proficient on offense, the Raiders will be forced to take their shots through the air with moderate success. Jason Campbell will throw for a couple touchdowns, but will be picked once or twice. This game will have a lot of points off turnovers- at least 20 between the two teams.
The Giants in Super Bowl XLII showed how to deal with a Patriots team that looked unstoppable- rush the passer without mercy and crush Tom Brady early and often. The Bills showed another way to deal with them- get a lot of lucky tipped-ball interceptions and return them for touchdowns. One of these is something you can game-plan, the other is a result of blind random fortune. The fates surely smiled upon the Bills last week, and still they barely won. Yet win they did, and this Patriots team no longer seems the unstoppable juggernaut they appeared to be during Weeks 1 and 2.
The Raiders CAN win this game. They probably shouldn't, but they CAN. They can do it by rushing, rushing, and rushing some more, playing a grinding ball-control offense and keeping the ball out of Tom Brady's grubby little hands. They CAN do this because that is the style of play the Raiders run well, are accustomed to running, and set out to run every single game these days. Will they?
They will try. Sometimes they will succeed. The problem is, their defense is not good. Tom Brady has a quick release, quicker even than Ryan Fitzpatrick's, and he will pass before we can hit him (we may hit him anyway, but that is against the rules) and the Patriots will score. A lot. A LOT.
Wes Welker has been a revelation this year. He is currently the best wide receiver in fantasy football. Rob Gronkowski is an uncoverable nightmare. Deion Branch is kinda bad but he is fast. If you leave him uncovered, he will make plays. The Raiders will have a difficult time adequately covering all the Patriot receivers- and Aaron Hernandez isn't even going to play.
That being said, the Patriots have absolutely nobody who can cover 1) Denarius Moore, 2) Chaz Schilens, 3) Kevin Boss, or 4) Darren McFadden out of the backfield. The Patriots D has been abysmal. These guys made Chad Henne look like Kurt Warner circa 2001.
The Black Hole is going to be a huge factor in this game. It will be rocking, and it will be loud. This game could go either way. The fates have seen fit to show me little more than that this game will be exciting and that you should take the Over bet in this game as the O/U is 54 1/2 points. It is left up to me to predict a final score on my own. I can see the Raiders winning but I will predict Patriots 44, Raiders 41.