With the Oakland Raiders taking on the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, it is time to sit back and review what they need to do to rack up their next win. After snapping a 10-year drought of winning coming off the bye week, Oakland must be ready to take on yet another challenge at home. Chip Kelly’s offense is not a slow ground and pound and its going to take some speed to keep up with them. LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson are both effective pieces in the offense and must be contained. Third, the Raiders offense cannot sputter like it has in the second quarter. They have to keep bringing the pressure.
Slow Down Chip Kelly’s Offense – Chip Kelly’s offense is built around speed and getting off as many possible plays as they can as fast as they can. This can cause problems for a defense. Getting the correct coverage call in and getting set before the ball is snapped is imperative. If Oakland can’t get set for the play, then they can’t stop the play. One good thing for Oakland is that they won’t have to contend with containing Michael Vick this week, as he is ruled out with a hamstring injury. Nick Foles will be taking the reins and directing the offense against an Oakland defense that has been on the upswing lately, creating turnovers and long third down situations. In order for Oakland to succeed, they will have to slow down the offense and contain DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy.
Containing LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson - In order to slow down the offense, Oakland must keep LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson in check. Both these players are capable of ripping off big chunks of yards at any given point. The Raiders have yet to surrender a run of more than 20 yards this season and Philadelphia could be the team to break that streak if Oakland isn’t careful. The passing defense needs to make sure to blanket the Philadelphia receivers so that they can focus on LeSean McCoy. If Oakland can take away the passing game, the run stuffing duo of Pat Sims and Vance Walker can what they do best, take away the run. Keeping both players in check can result in a slower offensive attack and keep them honest on the ground.
Oakland’s Offense Has to Keep Attacking in the Second Half – In the past couple games, Oakland can’t seem to keep the offensive pressure in the second half of games. All the execution that seems to be happening in the first two quarters just evaporates at halftime. In order for Oakland to beat this Philadelphia team, they have to keep executing and keep their defense off the field. The fast paced offense of the Eagles is going to take its toll on the defense and they will need the time that the offense is on the field to rest up for the next defensive stand. The output by Terrelle Pryor and Darren McFadden has to be much more effective at gaining the lead and then continuing to produce. Too many times in the past couple games have they jumped out to a big lead in the first half and then played what seemed to be a version of “prevent offense.” Prevent offense doesn’t really work if you can’t effectively run the ball though. The offensive line will be getting a little boost in gaining Menelik Watson back from a lingering calf injury. This will provide a little bit of a boost and some much needed depth to cover for some injuries should they happen.
If Oakland can follow these three steps, they can take a high-flying Philadelphia Eagles team and clip their wings, earning the Raiders their 2nd win in the second half of their season.