Oakland Raiders: Keys To Victory Over Baltimore Ravens

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Sep 13, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders wide receiver Seth Roberts (10) is unable to make a catch against the Cincinnati Bengals in the fourth quarter at O.co Coliseum. The Bengals defeated the Raiders 33-13. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Hold On To the Ball and Make Plays

The Raiders’ receivers put on a vintage 2014 performance last week – with wide receiver Seth Roberts being one of the primary culprits. Last season, Oakland’s receivers were highly inconsistent and were very prone to dropping passes. That tendency was on display again last week against the Bengals as Oakland’s pass catchers dropped half a dozen very catchable balls.

Roberts, for all of his promise and potential, suffered from a case of the yips and dropped two passes on his own – sure receptions that killed off drives.

But Roberts was most definitely not alone with his case of the stone hands. That’s a trend that has to stop before it takes root as it will absolutely stall out and destroy this offense. While Derek Carr must do a better job of targeting all of his offensive weapons, those same weapons must to a much better job of holding on to the ball when it comes their way.

The Raiders need guys to step up and make plays. Amari Cooper turned a short pass into a long gain last week. Jamzie Olawale had a couple of decent runs. And Marcel Reece hauled in a couple of touchdown passes late. They have plenty of players who have the ability to make plays, now the Raiders just need those guys to step up and do it.

And for their part, the Raiders’ coaching staff in Del Rio and OC Bill Musgrave must take the handcuffs off, be willing to take some risks, and put these guys in a position to make plays. Take some shots deep. Be a little more creative with their play calling. Roll the dice now and then and keep this Baltimore defense guessing, keep them from teeing off on one or two guys and bringing the offense to a screeching halt.

The players need to make plays, but the coaches need to be willing to trust them to do it.

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