It has been 5 years since I could, without wearing, silver and black shaded glasses, look at this team and believe that we could go into the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field and NOT ONLY COMPETE with a 10-2 Green Bay Team, but beat them and their dedicated, cheese loving fans!!!
The weakness of this Green Bay Team is their run defense. They allow 100 yards a game, which is good enough for 14th in the League. The key here, is that they score a ton of points, 26 a game (5th in the NFL), so most teams are forced to try and pass more than run on them. Thus, they have the 10th fewest carries against them.
As we all know about a rushing offense, thank you Kiffin and Cable for showing us "Mad Bombers" how this works, the defense begins to tire in the late third and early fourth quarter and the gains get bigger. So, IF, we can keep the game close enough that we can stick to a run based game plan we can run against these guys in the late third and fourth quarter.
What we also know is that a stout rushing offense opens up the middle of the field for the tight end and the deep corners for play action.
The key to keeping the score close will be shutting down Ryan Grant.
Grant is averaging 6.7 yards per carry in his last 2 games and 4 weeks ago he ran for 114 yards against Minnesota's staunch run defense.
Even though the run D did perform well against Denver they are still DEAD LAST in the NFL in yards per carry, so, I am sure that Green Bay is looking for a way to get him 25+ touches this week.
Green Bay passes so often and uses so many shotgun formations that he has been limited in his carries for the past two weeks (15 and 14 respectively). In fact, his season high workload is 25 carries in the Minnesota game which was a runaway 35-0 victory.
I am confident that if Favre tries to go to the air 39 times (His average per game), we will have a couple picks.
The Raiders are #2 in the NFL in interceptions per pass attempt (1 in every 21.6). That is an astounding fact, seeing that we don't have the luxury that San Diego (1 in 21.1), (New England (1 in 22.4) or Dallas (1 in 24.7) have in trying to pick off a Hail Mary once a game and padding their stats.
When you look at the Green Bay pass defense, one can only wonder what our pass defense would be like with Charles Woodson (11G, 4INT, 1TD, 8PD, 48 tackles) roaming in the 2007 Raider backfield. It is almost the same wonder that one gets when thinking about Randy Moss being on the receiving end of Daunte's passes.
The Green Bay pass defense has allowed the 6th most touchdowns in the NFL, 19 (1 in every 31.4 attempts), while the Raiders have allowed the second fewest, 8 (1 in every 40 attempts), despite being the 7th worst in the League in yards per attempt (Just BEND do not BREAK Baby!!!).
As far as fumbles go, Justin Fargas has only fumbled twice in 181 rushing attempts and Ryan Grant has yet to fumble in 121 attempts.
So, Raider Nation, it comes down to the same old story again. Run the ball, stop the run and win the turnover battle.
With the way that our boys have been playing for the last few weeks, I can see this Sunday being a REAL BARNBURNER!!!
Go RAIDERS, let's turn Lambeau into CHEESE FONDUE!!!