Pregame Prediction for 11/20
In my estimation, here are the core problems facing the Raiders: (1) faltering commitment to the running game, which puts everything on Collins, who doesn’t perform well in such situations; (2) pressure from the blitz disrupting the offensive rhythm; and (3) poor clock management, including a lack of purpose and urgency in crucial situations.
Thus, my pregame prediction is conditional on implementing the following solutions:
1. Run the ball. Or, RUN THE FREAKIN’ BALL. I’ve flipped out about it here before, and it still holds. Credit to Raider Nilbilly on the Raider Nation Podcast board for crunching the following numbers: LaMont Jordan is averaging 25 carries and 105 yards in Raiders victories this year, and 16 times for 54 yards in the losses. Enough said.
2. Neutralize the blitz. The Chiefs chewed us up with it, and so did the Broncos. There are methods for dealing with a steady blitz, aren’t there? Quick slants, perhaps? Forget halftime adjustments…It’s been two weeks now. Can we make some adjustments yet?
3. Improve time management. Last week, we had the five-minute drive while three scores down (sorry, I’ll stop reminding you of that soon). Against the Chargers, Coach Turner sat on our timeouts before the end of the half. This is becoming a regrettable pattern, this bizarre lack of urgency in the face of defeat. Conversely, hurling the ball for a repetition of three-and-outs against the Broncos demonstrates a failure to, when necessary, slow things down to our advantage.
If the Raiders run the ball, counter the blitz and manage the clock with improved purpose, I predict that they will whip Danny Boy’s ‘Skins to the tune of 33 to 20.