The third preseason game is as close to a real test as it gets. How can the Oakland Raiders overcome the Green Bay Packers?
Pound the rock with Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew
Green Bay is a tough team and have been for year. Their calling card is high flying offense led by an elite passing attack. Countering it is always a problem for defenses, which is why they may require help from their own offense. A way to do that is clock control. Oakland players have not been bashful about saying they will be a running team in 2014. Thus far in preseason that looks like a safe assumption. So to beat the Packers they will need to feed the machine. That mean carries for Darren McFadden, Maurice Jones-Drew and the rest of the backs. Chew the clock, get first downs and most importantly keep Aaron Rodgers on the sideline.
Send Khalil Mack after Aaron Rodgers
Barring that, the Raiders must resort to their only other answer for Rodgers. That is putting him on his back. Oakland invested time, money and draft picks in order to improve their pass rush this season and much of their hopes center around rookie 1st round pick Khalil Mack. His versatility, athleticism and speed make him a threat to rush the quarterback from every angle. He will need all those physical tool to corral a savvy, slippery talent like Rodgers who never gets enough credit for his mobility.
Don’t turn the football over
Look back over the past five seasons at the overall win totals for the Packers as a team. One is almost certain to find a correlation between how many victories they had and how many turnovers they forced. Green Bay is at its most dangerous when it gets extra possessions. So for Oakland, specifically quarterback Matt Schaub, he has to play a smart game and not turn the football over. Being aggressive isn’t a bad thing, but the key is picking the right moments. If the offense gets greedy, the Packers are the kind of team that know how to make you pay.