Oakland Raiders: Keys To Victory Over The Cincinnati Bengals

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Aug 24, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end George Johnson (94) sacks Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) during the second quarter of a preseason NFL football game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Hit Andy Dalton Early – and Often

It should go without saying that the Raiders need to get pressure on the opposing quarterback. A fierce, aggressive, and dominating pass rush will help ease the burden on a secondary that may or may not be ready for prime time.

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  • Andy Dalton is the first one up on the docket for the Raiders. Oakland’s pass rush and their defensive front as a whole came to life over the course of the preseason and seemed to get better every week. They made life tough for Teddy Bridgewater in week two, and then made it downright unbearable for Carson Palmer in week three. We’ll pretend that game four against Seattle never happened.

    Rookie Mario Edwards Jr., who has been dogged by questions about his work ethic and overall effectiveness since the moment the Raiders drafted him, really began to stand out as the exhibition season wore on. After getting pushed around and beaten up against the Rams in his first live NFL action, Edwards got more comfortable and really began to light it up.

    He actually began to look like the sort of defensive end McKenzie and Del Rio had hoped they were getting when they burned a second round pick on him in this year’s draft.

    Oakland has some players that can make life miserable on opposing quarterbacks. Khalil Mack is obviously one of them. And we all know that Andy Dalton does not like, nor does he respond well to getting hit. His consistency – and passing percentage – goes down dramatically the more often he is forced to pick himself up off the ground.

    It would behoove the Raiders – it’s actually very necessary in fact – for Oakland to establish a vicious pass rush early. Not just to get Dalton off his game, but to provide their young and inexperienced corners some cover.

    Next: Start Fast, Stay Ahead