Oakland Raiders: Keys to Victory Over Green Bay Packers

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Dec 6, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper (89) is tackled by Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters (22) and inside linebacker Derrick Johnson (56) during an NFL football game at O.co Coliseum. The Chiefs defeated the Raiders 34-20. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Get Amari Cooper Involved Early

Cooper is listed as questionable on this week’s injury report with a foot ailment. He sat out practice on Wednesday, but he also missed practice last week and was still able to play against the Broncos. However, the injury may have limited Cooper’s effectiveness as Denver held the rookie without a catch for the first time this season.

If Cooper is able to go on Sunday against the Packers, Musgrave and the Raiders would be wise to get him involved early. The Packers will likely be without their top cornerback in Sam Shields who is battling concussion symptoms and is listed as doubtful to play on Sunday. Oakland will want to try to capitalize on Shields’ absence by taking a few deep shots to stretch out and loosen that defense.

And Cooper is a big part of that.

With Cooper missing practice last week yet playing against Denver, it seems somewhat likely that he will be playing against the Packers as well. And if that turns out to be the case, Oakland is going to need to get him involved in the offensive game plan early and often.

With an effective Cooper, the defense is forced to focus on him, which frees up opportunities for Oakland’s other talented pass catchers. He and Michael Crabtree have formed a lethal 1-2 punch this season, and Seth Roberts is proving to be a very effective third option for Derek Carr.

If Cooper thrives, the offense as a whole thrives. Oakland is going to want to make sure that Cooper gets fed and has a nice bounceback game after last week’s shutout.

Next: Tight End Play