Behind Enemy Lines: Oakland Raiders
Before the Monday Night Game in Mexico City, I go behind enemy lines with Tyler Randolph of Just Blog Baby for his insight on the Raiders. For my answers to his questions, click here. Onto his answers:
1. Derek Carr has been unstoppable this season. Is he the next great quarterback and face of the league?
I think he will be at the forefront of a QB turnover for the entire NFL. You certainly look at him, Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck, And Cam Newton to be the top guys for this generation. He has the professionalism that the NFL looks for, he’s a family first type of guy, well spoken and he can flat out play. Oakland is set up for the future, and Carr is one of, if not the reason why they are. He’ll be up their as one of the faces of league for the next decade in my opinion.
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2. With a full array of weapons at his disposal, who will the Raiders be looking at most to make plays on Monday?
I think this game resembles much of last week’s, in that they face a legit secondary but a soft run defense. Latavius Murray will be featured heavily in this matchup, allowing the offensive line to take advantage of the interior of that defense. Look for complimentary play calling by Bill Musgrave for Richard and Washington.
3. The Raiders defense has struggled all season. How will they go about slowing down Lamar Miller?
It’s safe to say the defense has struggled through weeks 1-6. The past three however, has showed them improving across the board. They regularly play five rookies at all levels of the defense, and those rookies are finally catching up with the play of the NFL. Also the late addition of Perry Riley from waivers and his elevated play has given a desperate boost to their front seven. The run defense allowed only 33 yards rushing against Denver, however Booker is not Miller. I think a similar game plan will be in place and they will test Osweiler’s ability against a full stable of corners and focus on limiting Miller’s ability. Del Rio and Norton have had an extra week to prepare for this offense, so I look for this defense to have a complete game on Monday.
4. Brock Osweiler has faced the Raiders before, will that familiarity help him or the Raiders defense (specifically Khalil Mack, who got five sacks in Denver last season) more?
There will be some familiarity there for Osweiler, but also a more talented defense with new faces awaits him. Osweiler still has a lot on his plate as far as playing up to the size of his recently signed contract, but he does have his only 300 yard game against registered against the Raiders. He could gain a lot respect league wide if he pulls off another such performance on Monday night, and gets his team a huge win.
5. With the high altitude in Mexico City, that favor a big legged kicker like Sea Bass; who has more range than Nick Novak. How else do you see the environment affecting the game?
Obviously it affects their endurance when climbing that high, but the Raiders have been taking precautions with that in using oxygen masks while working in the weight room. It definitely balances out the playing field though, certainly in favor of the Texans, in that this is an away ‘home’ game for Oakland. A Monday night game following the previous win they had against Denver would absolutely have the coliseum rocking. A strong showing from both team’s fans should have the playing field even, while all the other factors affect both teams. Look for King and Lechler to have a very impressive showing, giving both defenses good field position.
6. What is your predicted score?
I’ll take the “home” team in this one, and say Raiders over the Texans 31-20