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, CA – SEPTEMBER 17: Jalen Richard /

Exploit Favorable Matchups

Linebacker Zach Brown was on the wish list for most Raiders fans this offseason. Yet, when he finally came to Oakland to meet with GM Reggie McKenzie, he left without a deal and a snarky Tweet about five minutes later.

Perhaps, that’s for the best.

Oakland’s biggest problem with their linebackers group is the inability to effectively cover the short and intermediate passes. And based on the early returns, Brown might not have helped that problem very much – if at all.

Through two weeks of play, Washington’s defense has struggled to contain pass catching backs who have a penchant for taking a short pass and turning it into a long one. And as luck would have it, the Raiders have a pair of running backs in Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington who can do just that.

Both are shifty, elusive, and faster than lightning. And given the fact that Washington linebackers Brown and Mason Foster have given up plenty of yards after the catch, struggling to contain pass catching backs, it’s a matchup the Raiders would do very well to exploit early and often.

Richard is coming off a game against the Jets in which he posted 109 total yards of offense – including a pair of receptions that netted him 51 yards. Washington has been quieter in the passing game thus far this season (five receptions for 33 yards), but that could – and perhaps, should – change this week.

Softening up that defensive front with some short, quick passes to the backs, allowing them to create yardage in open space, could prove beneficial to the offense as a whole, as it might open up the passing game for some deeper strikes to Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree.

Their running backs on Washington’s linebackers is a definite advantage the Raiders have going into this game. And it’s one they absolutely must exploit.