Oakland Raiders vs. Green Bay Packers: Game Day Open Thread


The Oakland Raiders play host to the Green Bay Packers today, trying to keep their razor thin playoff hopes alive.

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The Oakland Raiders played one ugly game in Denver last week. It was a game in which they had negative twelve yards of total offense in the first half. Negative twelve. But the defense played out of their minds, held Denver without an offensive touchdown – for the second time this season – and the Raiders managed to eke out a win in a thriller.

And in the process, they moved to 6-7 and managed to stay alive in the hunt for a wild card. Mathematically speaking. A lot would have to happen and a lot of things would need to break their way, to claim one of those two spots. But the fact remains that they have a chance and are playing some meaningful football in December – a sight Raiders fans have not seen in quite some time.

Statistically speaking, the Raiders and the Packers match up well on paper. On offense, the Packers are scoring just over 24 points a game, while the Raiders are putting up 23 per contest. Green Bay is amassing an average of about 349 yards of offense per game while the Raiders are averaging about 345 yards a week.

It’s defensively where the match up begins to falter – at least on paper. The Packers come in giving up 350 yards to the opposing offense per game while the Raiders are giving up a tick over 372 yards. The biggest difference though, is that Green Bay is only giving up almost 19 points per game. Oakland is almost a touchdown worse, giving up 25 points per game. The Packers have the league’s twentieth overall ranked defense, while Oakland is stuck in the twenty-seventh spot.

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However – those raw stats don’t take into account just how well this Raiders defense has been playing over the last few weeks. Ever since their debacle in back to back weeks against the Steelers and Vikings, DC Ken Norton has made some adjustments to his defensive unit that have paid off in a big way.

Their run defense has rounded back into the form that allowed them to be the NFL’s second ranked run defense throughout the first seven weeks of the season, their pass defense – now that David Amerson has assumed the starting role and D.J. Hayden has finally been set down for the most part – has begun to play some terrific football. And of course, a pass rush led by the NFL’s sack leader in Khalil Mack – who is beginning to become an elite impact player – has been fierce.

Win or lose today, the Raiders are beginning to round into the form that will allow them to have some long term success. They have an incredibly solid foundation to build upon that will carry them out of the cellar and to lofty heights this franchise has not seen in quite some time.

In terms of today’s game though, the Raiders are coming into it hobbled. Tackle Austin Howard, long snapper John Condo, and safety Nate Allen have all been ruled out of the game with the Packers. Condo and Howard were put on the IR, ending their seasons. Howard has been an integral part of a Raiders offensive line that has experienced a renaissance under coach Mike Tice and has been one of the very best in the league this season.

J’Marcus Webb is expected to slide over to fill Howard’s spot at tackle while rookie Jon Feliciano will get the start at guard. Howard’s injury is going to test the depth of the offensive line and has the potential to put a serious crimp in Oakland’s game plan. If Feliciano isn’t ready to go, it will not only hurt the running game, but it might also hamper the passing game – Derek Carr isn’t going to be overly effective with a pass rush in his face all day.

The Packers though, aren’t exactly the picture of health either. Cornerback Sam Shields is out with a concussion and wide receiver Ty Montgomery is out with an ankle injury. What might be more important for the Raiders though, is that two of Green Bay’s starting offensive linemen will not be a one hundred percent coming into the game. T.J. Lang and Corey Linsley are both officially listed as questionable on the final injury report with shoulder and ankle injuries.

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Though both will likely play, they may be dinged up just enough to give the Raiders pass rush the upper hand against a good offensive club.

What do you think? How do you see this game playing out? Will the Raiders find a way to pull out a win against the Packers and get back to .500? Or will the Packers give the Raiders more than they can handle? Will Derek Carr and the offense rebound from a dreadful showing in Denver last week? Or will they suffer a similar power outage?

Final. 27. 28. 24. 49

This is your place to talk about the game and all things Raiders. Let’s hear your thoughts and opinions on the game. What are your predictions for it? How do you see it all playing out? Have a thought and opinion? Let’s hear it. Let’s hear what you think and you feel. Step up and sound off.