Oakland Raiders: A Few Keys To A Week Three Win In Washington

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 29: Stefen Wisniewski
OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 29: Stefen Wisniewski /
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Oakland Raiders
Oakland Raiders /

Put Pressure On Cousins

Cornerback David Amerson said it best when he recently gave an interview and, speaking of Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins, said:

"“He can get hot on you of you let him. He can throw for outrageous yards. If you get good pressure on him and hit him a little bit he can get out of synch. We really kind of determine which Kirk Cousins we’re going to get”"

It seems a simple thing, but it’s entirely accurate and very smart – Oakland’s defense will determine which Kirk Cousins they’re going to get.

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Cousins is capable of putting up some eye-popping numbers and taking over a game. This year though, having lost his top two weapons in Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson, Cousins has found his passing rhythm a little bit off as he struggles to form that all important chemistry with Jamison Crowder and offseason acquisition Terrelle Pryor.

Through two games, Cousins and the Washington passing offense ranks twenty-fourth in the league with an average of 178 yards per game. But this is a passing game that can be explosive if the defense lets them.

Which means that the Raiders will need to step up their game in a big way. Through two games, Oakland has just five sacks on the year – four of those against a porous Jets line last week. But overall, the Raiders have yet to generate a consistent and sustained pass rush.

Against the Jets, they did a better job of sending blitzes and forcing McCown out of his comfort zone. That’s a trend that must continue against a much better quarterback in Kirk Cousins.

Oakland can’t afford to let Cousins find a rhythm with his receivers and need to hit him and keep him moving around all night. They alone, in determining what kind of Cousins they’re going to get, can also determine whether or not they leave Fed Ex Field with a W or not.