After a disappointing loss to the Denver Broncos, the Oakland Raiders now fall to 2-2. Oakland started the season off strong, but after two abysmal performances in a row, the Raiders don’t seem to be the team everyone thought they would be. With Derek Carr now stuck on the sideline for two to six weeks, this season can quickly spiral out of control. Oakland has a chance to redeem themselves with a strong showing against the Baltimore Ravens. Here are the week five Oakland Raiders keys to victory.
Week Five Oakland Raiders Keys To Victory
Establish A Running Game
E.J. Manuel will be under center this week. To take some ease off of Manuel’s first start, Oakland needs to establish some type of running game. The Raiders offense has a whole has struggled the last two weeks. Marshawn Lynch is there for a reason. Oakland has to utilize him in addition to fullback Jamize Olawale. As a versatile fullback, Olawale can block, run, and catch the ball. Offensive coordinator Todd Downing has yet to use him much this season. Now might be the time. Establish a running game, and hit Baltimore in the mouth.
Baltimore has a tough front seven, but that is no excuse for Oakland. With one of the best offensive lines in football, the Raiders should flex their muscle and put that line to work. The result will mean good things for Manuel.
Take The Ball Away
Oakland’s defense has yet to get an interception this season. This week against Baltimore would be the perfect time to finally get one. Joe Flacco has already thrown six interceptions this season. There should be plenty of opportunities for the Raiders to take the ball away. Baltimore’s offense has had their fair share of struggles this season. Although Oakland’s defense has done a nice job this season, they will need to do better than that to guarantee a win. Interceptions, forced fumbles, and strip sacks will be key for the Oakland Raiders.
Planning And Preparation
Oakland has looked bad these last two weeks. It is clear to those that have watched the team that something is off. A big step to fixing the many problems the Raiders have faced is being prepared. Too often, the Raiders have looked confused and completely unsure of themselves. Oakland needs to get their swagger back. Sticking to a strong game plan, and executing it with little error is an easy way to put the team in a great position.
Head coach Jack Del Rio needs to do whatever he needs to do to ensure a Raiders victory. A big part of winning is having a good game plan. John Harbaugh won’t hesitate to pounce on an undisciplined and unready team.
It is the offense that deserves the grunt of this criticism as the defense has played better than expected. With Oakland’s offense struggling with Carr, there’s no telling how bad it could be without him. Manuel needs support from the running game, the expensive offensive line, and the young defense. If the Oakland Raiders stick to doing those things, victory will be a sure thing.