The 2017 NFL season has not been kind to the Oakland Raiders. They have fought hard to overcome the various obstacles that stood in their path, and yet they can’t seem to get out of their own way. Last week’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys was a microcosm of a season that began with so much promise. This week, The Raiders will make their final trip to the Eastern Time zone to take on the red-hot Philadelphia Eagles. Here are a few keys to victory in Oakland’s quest to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Week 16 Oakland Raiders Keys To Victory
Manage Philly’s Many Weapons
The Eagles offense is an interesting thing to watch. They lack a true number one threat at either the wide receiver or running back position, yet still manage to put up staggering numbers. They have a quarterback who torched the New York Giants to the tune of 237 yards and four touchdowns last week, and Nick Foles is the back-up to the NFL MVP front-runner.
This team is stacked with talent, and if the Raiders are going to stand a chance against them, they will need to game plan accordingly.
Unlike most teams who have a star player that the offense revolves around, the Eagles have a hand full of role players that fit well together. Stopping them is going to take 11 guys doing their jobs and playing good, assignment football.
If Oakland can’t get the very best out of their defense, Philly will score with ease from any point on the field. And if the Raiders want to keep the dim hope of the playoffs alive, they can’t let that happen.
Get The Offense On Track
The defensive unit in Oakland has left much to be desired this year. The offense was supposed to make up for the decade-long disaster that is the Raider defense.
The regression going on in Oakland is astounding. What was once a feared and efficient offense has become something of a joke, but not so far gone that it can’t be fixed.
The offensive line is a major issue this year when compared to the outstanding play of last season. The unit’s inability to protect Derek Carr has led to the quarterback doing too much. Effectively taking the ball out of his offensive playmaker’s hands.
— SNF on NBC (@SNFonNBC) December 18, 2017
Michael Crabtree, Amari Cooper and Marshawn Lynch are three of the most talented players in the league at their respective positions, and yet the Raiders can’t seem to get the ball moving or sustain drives.
Many experts have placed the blame on offensive coordinator, Todd Downing for the lame duck offense in Oakland. And they may be right, but at the end of the day, players need to make plays.
Cleaning Up Both Sides Of The Ball
Week 16 is a must win for the Raiders if they hope to stay in playoff contention. The play on both sides of the ball must get better if they hope to leave Philly with a win.
And if Oakland manages to fight its way into the postseason, the much-needed adjustments that made today will surely help them in the future.