Ultimate tune-up game for Raiders Defense

The Drew Brees led Saints present a sophisticated offense that will test Oakland's Defense in every conceivable way.

Not saying N.O. has a great offense, but it is good - well coached and explosive. The Saints' Offense will be most challenging because of the abounding variety of sets they use. In only a couple of drives you will see packages ranging from their basic 21 (if "basic" can even be applied), 11, (1 RB & 1 TE w/3 WRs) 22 (2 RBs, 2 TEs, 1 WR), 00 (No RBs or TEs w/ 5 receivers), 01 (no RB, 1 TE and 2 WRs & 2 Flankers/in the slots) and probably some other formations I failed to notice.

OC, Pete Carmichael and HC Sean Payton thrive on offensive variety and it's a wonder their players can absorb the Saints playbook which in practice is far more extensive than our own OC's famous tomb.  

So, both intellectually and physically, the Raiders Defense has its greatest preseason challenge against N.O. with Brees conducting a full scale symphony of offensive weapons behind a solid offensive line.

Look for McClain to have a huge or poor game. Brees works the middle a lot and then tries to punch his RBs - Thomas #23 and Ingram #28 through DLs and into open spaces, or lure in many and lob the screen pass . And, like other good qbs, Brees will find our greatest weakness (I'm sure he already has) and exploit it mercilessly, e.g. quick outs and slants to thwart reckless blitzing and CBs playing soft.

All in all, this game will do us a world of good, showing us our strengths and, more importantly, clearly revealing our weaknesses - that we still have time to correct before Sept. 12. The key to defeating the Saints' offense is the same as it is for Rivers and SD, pressure the QB, disciplined execution of sound coaching decisions and controlling TOP.