The Oakland Raiders are just five days removed from putting a beat down on the Denver Broncos in their own house. It was a victory that may go down as one of the best in Raiders' lore and one these players will certainly be telling their grandkids about. But it will not mean anything pertaining to this 2010 season if they follow it up with another sloppy loss.
Meanwhile in Seattle, there is a buzz about the 4-2 Seattle Seahawks. Pete Carroll has got this team off on the right foot and they believe they can win any game regardless of the opponent. They are 2nd in the league against the run, and that is the forte of their upcoming opponent, the Oakland Raiders.Now, the Oakland Raiders keys to victory for week 8.
Get Over It
Yeah, you had a great win last week in Denver, yeah you are 2-0 in the division, yeah Bill Romanowski called you the best team in the NFL this past Sunday, but you know what...get over it!
The same way you have to let go of a loss and move on to the next opponent; that is the same way you have to let go of this win and move on to the Seahawks, because while they are not in that upper echelon of NFL teams talent wise, they are very opportunistic and if you let them hang around until the fourth quarter, or completely let your guard down as the Raiders have been known to do in the recent past after a win, it will be lights out on the goal of winning in your home stadium this year.
Seattle will deliver Oakland a trick rather than a treat and you know they will be prepared for the Raiders. The Raiders need to get off that cloud nine (mile) high they are on right now and focus on the next task, which is having another game like the one in Denver.
Stay on Your Horses
Darren McFadden is having a season which many in Raider Nation are scratching their heads about, like where did this come from? Michael Bush is a guy who many expected to win the starting role out of training camp and set a good pace for the offense this year.
Here's what we know now:
- McFadden is an explosive player this year
- Michael Bush could start for a number of teams in the NFL
- The Raiders line is much better at run blocking than pass blocking
And this is the way you win your games. I said earlier in this article that Seattle is number two in the league against the run. But there was once upon a time when the Raiders were number two against the pass and Phillip Rivers came along and put up over four hundred passing yards on them.
The Raiders have to ride McFadden and Bush to glory this year. And I believe they can run the ball against the Seahawks in this game if they focus on their assignments and just do what they do.
Manage the Game
Two weeks ago in San Francisco, Jason Campbell looked like the Raiders should probably try and get their 2012 fourth round pick back from the thieving Washington Redskins. Last week in Denver, he managed the game. And really, with the way this ground game is taking off, that's all Campbell needs to do here in Oakland. When you think of Campbell pre-Raiders, you think of a game managing guy who isn't going to lose games for you. Is that the guy the Raiders have, or is it the guy from San Francisco?
The very first play in San Francisco it was clear the 49ers had a focus on stopping the run. The flea flicker, one of the oldest tricks in the books, left Louis Murphy wide open forty yards up the field and Campbell under shot him by about 10-15 yards. Later on in the game, Campbell overthrew an open Murphy coming out of his own end zone. Sorry for making you relive this terrible flashback, but obviously that is the Jason Campbell that cannot show up this Sunday. So what's it going to be, did Campbell figure this thing out or is he still that guy from the Tennessee game, the Rams game, and the 49ers game?
Respect the Home Field
From the opening drive of the Denver Broncos on Sunday, when Chris Johnson took a Kyle Orton pass to the house, it was clear that the Raiders were not going to lose this game. They came out focused, they came out determined, and they stayed aggressive throughout the game as they put a whopping' on their division rival. The Broncos did not protect their home field.
In this game, the Raiders need to own their grass. They need to treat this game like somebody is trying to break into the place and take all of their belongings. The Raiders have yet to prove to anybody what it is that they set out to prove last week. They may think they are special, but right now there is nothing special about a 3-4 football team in this league. The Raiders are going to have to be winners at home this year as well as in their division if they want to win a wide open division, make the playoffs, and keep Tom Cable as their leader moving forward.
They need to put together a string of victories because winning one week and losing the next week is not going to get the job done. The Raiders need to get rolling and stop with the setbacks and it starts over these next two games at home against Seattle and their division rival whom they haven't beat yet, the Kansas City Chiefs. If you haven't got tickets yet, get them now and go support the Oakland Raiders in their playoff hunt. I mean, who would've thought it would be week 8 and we'd still be talking about winning the division and playoffs?
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