The Oakland Raiders (2-3) will be playing their second straight home game on Sunday when they take on the Los Angeles Chargers (1-4).
Here are three keys to victory for the Oakland Raiders.
Protect the quarterback
Whether it’s Derek Carr or EJ Manuel lining up behind center, come Sunday, the offensive line needs to step up and protect whoever is slinging the rock. The offensive line hasn’t looked anything near what they looked like last year, when they were regarded by many as one of the top three offensive line units in the league. This week will be a tough task for the two tackles of the Raiders because the Chargers have a solid pass rush. Chargers defensive ends Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram are probably one of the top three pass rush duos in the league. Ingram is currently ranked second in the league in sacks with seven and a half. If the Raiders are able to protect their quarterback, they can eat up the wounded secondary of the Chargers.
Pressure Philip Rivers
We were always told that football games are won in the trenches right? Well this one isn’t any different. The only way to stop Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers is by pressuring him. If he’s given time to throw behind his offensive line he will eat the Raiders secondary up like chopped liver. The Chargers number one receiver Keenan Allen is finally healthy this season and he’s been doing a great job getting open for Rivers. However, if the Raiders can rattle Rivers with their pass rush, then they will have success.
Get ahead early
The main problem the Raiders have had in all of their losses is that they’ve trailed early and have never been able to recover. Mostly from ill-advised turnovers that could have been prevented. They need to score, score, and score. They need to be able to move the ball down the field and get touchdowns. For the past year, the Raiders have been looked at as a team with an explosive offense; now they have to show it consistently. Have a good mix of run and pass plays for the offense to keep the defense off guard and slow the pass rush down. And lastly, put some play-action plays into the gameplan. Carr is successful in play-action plays and the offensive coordinator must put his offense in the best position to score at will.
If the Raiders can do these three things then they will win.
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