The Raiders' injuries are piling up, but not worry, that just means that they are playing hard. On the other hand, the 49ers list of injuries is not even comparative to the grocery list accrued by the team of the decades. Take a look:
Did Not Participate In Practice
TE Delanie Walker (ankle)
S Curtis Taylor (quadriceps)
Limited Participation In Practice
OT Joe Staley (shoulder)
QB Troy Smith (abdomen)
G Adam Snyder (quadriceps)
Limited Participation In Practice
G Robert Gallery (hamstring)
LB Quentin Groves (hamstring)
WR Johnnie Lee Higgins (knee)
G Daniel Loper (ankle)
RB Darren McFadden (hamstring)
Man, how are the Raiders going to play without half of their team?
Well, they could follow Hue Jackson's script. The Raiders offensive coordinator offered onlookers at his press conference today a vivid glimpse into the life of an NFL coach, it's pretty interesting.
Meanwhile on the other side of the field on Sunday will be a coach whose seat is starting to heat up in Mike Singletary. Singletary was supposed to have at least three wins under his belt, but instead a mere 0. Turns out the whole egotistical maniac persona is not that great for leading a franchise. Guess it's time to get back to the old drawing board and develop a new gameplan.
But it's not all bad on the 49ers front when a coach that feels his seat heating up lights a fire under the quarterbacks a$$. Did you all get to see Mike Singletary giving Alex Smith the old what for on the sidelines Sunday night? That was freaking awesome. But it appeared as though Singletary had awoken that quarterback who looked like he was on the rise last season. Which is bad news for the Raiders, especially considering Frank Gore is still healthy thus far this season.
Hmmm...what's the battle within the battle? How about the virtually invisible Michael Crabtree vs. the nearly undetectable Darrius Heyward-Bey?
No, I'd have to say the real battle in this one is going to be Michael Bush vs. Frank Gore. Both teams are going to want to eat the clock and play good defense, but that's not a good strategy for the Raiders, so they will end up getting in one of those need to come from behind to win victories again.
Cable is very confident they can get the job done, but says they must be wary of Gore and Ted Ginn Jr., "Ted is just so fast and a guy that you have to coral him, you got to contain him, you got to squeeze him when he's got the football. But you got to get him on the ground, because if he gets out you're probably not going to catch him."
Another guy the Raiders needs to contain---for the lack of a better term, the sleeper---if you're worried about Ginn and Gore would be Vernon Davis. And while Davis certainly doesn't deserve the consideration that Chargers' tight end Antonio Gates was getting from the Raiders, he is very dangerous in his own right. And he is really fast and big, perhaps what you would get if you could combine Gore and Ginn. If Alex Smith is getting it together, this offense could go places.
But it's tough to do with an inexperienced offensive line. That's something the Raiders and 49ers have in common. However, the 49ers line is far younger than some of the Raiders' vets, but the Raiders have not had time to get their chemistry with each other with Gallery coming in and out of the line-up, rotating left tackles, and two slowing veterans on the right side. One thing the Raiders line has proven it can do is block for the run to set up the pass. And that's something that has really worked in their favor recently.
The Raiders could be primed to become a very exciting offensive team here really quickly. If Jason Campbell can play at 75 percent of the level he was at in the second half of the Chargers game he will be helped out by a stellar tight end in Zach Miller, the return of Robert Gallery, and Michael Bush, a player the Raiders are 4-0 with when he gains 100 yards on the ground. The service of Chaz Schilens in a few weeks, and the return of Darren McFadden most likely next week will add to what is a developing offense.
On the flip side, the Raiders defense should play a similar defense as they did last week against the Chargers. Last week they wanted Phillip Rivers to beat them. He couldn't get the job done as Defensive Coordinator John Marshall threw 15 straight blitz plays into Rivers' nice and comfy pocket which he had established throughout most of the game. For Alex Smith, picking apart one of the better secondary's in
The 49ers defense has some good talent, but while they are explosive, they haven't really developed into the kind of defense that some expected in the early season. They don't have a player in the top fifteen in tackles this year, they don't have a player in the top thirty in sacks, and Nate Clements is their best DB, ouch. However, the Raiders will have to account for Patrick Willis and these big hitters over there. Travis LeBoy is the guy that nearly separated Jason Campbell from his spine in the preseason this year. Taylor Mays will be floating around their secondary looking to take somebody's head off.
It should be an entertaining game. Get your tickets NOW and go cheer on your 2010 Oakland Raiders!
Prediction: That's why I say Raiders win 37-24.
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