My Keys to win on offense and defense for the raiders game.
1. Take the Oakland defensive line out of the game. The Raiders boast one of the biggest, strongest and most aggressive defensive lines in the NFL. Buffalo's offensive line on the other hand has not been labeled with any of those traits. However, there are ways to work around, and take advantage of Oakland's strength here through game planning and play calling. There are three ways I can think of to do this.
Spread the Field: This helps by immediately taking one of their better players (either Wimbley their OLB, or one of their DE when they place Wimbley on the line to rush) off the field and replaces them with a sub package DB, where Oakland's depth is suspect.
Three and Five Step Drops: We can not afford to give Oakland a lot of time to get to Fitz. Despite how surprising well our offensive line held up last weekend, KC's line is not close to being on par with Oakland. However, there is a simple solution to this, get rid of the ball before they can get to Fitz.
Misdirection and Draws: Being an aggressive D-Line, this could really work to our advantage. Oakland sports mostly high motor, gap shooting defensive linemen. Why not use this momentum against them. This worked quite against KC's aggressive players (Hali and Johnson) as we got them to over-pursue, and then took advantage of their guys being out of place.
2. Exploit the their DB's and LB's coverage. Oakland will make sure you know when they hit you in the mouth, but their back 7 of the defense appears to be suspect in coverage. Standford Routt appears to be a pretty capable CB, but after that they seem to be average. I imagine Routt will be on Stevie the entire game, and despite Routt being more athletic the Johnson, Johnson should get open a bit due to his impeccable route running. That leaves our slot receivers a great advantage to exploit their safeties or their young nickel and dime backs. I will be surprised if we are in a traditional 2 WR, 2 RB, 1 TE set for more than a couple plays all game long.
3. Keep It Simple Chan. I though Chan called a masterful game on offensive last week, but i fear his success might lead to more elaborate play design. Why i fear this is because Oakland will not give Fitz a lot of time to throw the ball, and the more elaborate the play, the more assignments must be executed properly for the play to succeed. We are only a week into the season with limited off-season reps, so the simpler the play should help make plays more successful, when they depend on less going right to work.
1. Hold the edges. This is by far the biggest key to the game to me. Kelsey/Carrington and Merriman must hold the edges in run defense. If Darren McFadden makes it to the outside consistently, we are toast. He brings a rare combo of speed and strength. The speed makes it hard for LB's to get to him, and the Strength makes it hard for DB's to take him down. If we can hold the edges, and turn him back to the inside of our defense, I think we can limit the damage done.
2. Rush the Passer. We didn't generate much pass rush last week, but we did not have to either. This week might be different. While Campbell the passer (in terms of arm strength and accuracy) does not scare me, If we give him time to find the open man he usually does. He makes good, even if overly conservative decisions with the football, so getting to him before he find the open man is imperative.
3. Make Campbell beat us. I know i just got done praising Campbell (albeit lightly), but if we force him to have to beat us, then i really like our odds of winning. Oakland might be down their top three receivers Sunday, and that will only help us. Hopefully Campbell's unfamiliarity with their depth receivers will cause some blown routes, bad looking plays, and maybe a turn over or two.
Win the hidden yardage game: Last week's offensive numbers, in terms of yardage, does not jive with the score we racked up. Why? Because we decisively won the hidden yardage. From the takeaways deep in KC territory, to Moorman handily beating Colquitt in the punting game, we always had much superior field position to begin drives. At the middle to the third quarter, our average drive start was around the 50 year line, while KC's was with in their own 20 yard. 30 extra yards to start a drive aren't half bad.
There are my keys to the game. Let me know what you think.