Ready yourself for a different look at football from a guy who is part of a site that really likes to have fun.
Q. The Raiders lost badly to a less-than-average Dolphins team last week. What makes anyone think they will beat the undefeated Packers at Lambeau Field?
There is no way to defend the way the Raiders played last week. They were as flat as Bill Belichick at open mic night and gave an effort only LeBron James would envy in the 4th quarter. But don’t sleep on the Dolphins. No joke, what I saw last week was a team that could compete for a playoff spot had they not Norv Turner’d the first half of the season. As for the Raiders and their chances of victory this week…hey…Rocky beat Drago, Tim Tebow is winning in the NFL and Marisa Tomei got an Oscar for My Cousin Vinny. To quote Kevin Garnett, “Anything is posssssibbbbbllllleeeeee!!!!”
Q. The Raiders have a soft run defense and the Packers have a weak run offense … Who wins this matchup?
I’d love to say the Raiders will dominate the line of scrimmage and stuff the run. The problem is against the New England Patriots, who run as well as a Bernie Kosar, the ball was shoved down Oakland’s throat on the ground. Obviously you have to defend the pass against the Packers. The problem is their ground game is good enough that if you don’t respect it you’ll be in a bad spot. The real problem is that the Raiders play a Rosie O’Donnell (that would be a ton) of man coverage. Christain Ponder was looking like Randall Cunningham everytime he saw four Oakland DBs with their backs turned to him. Aaron Rodgers is much more moble so he should be able to pick up big gains on the ground in addition to what the Green Bay gets from their running backs. I’m predicting the Packers to win this matchup.
Q. The Raiders injuries have hit their receiving Corps hard. Though the Packers’ pass defense has been porous at best, can the Raiders second-stringers be effective?
This really all depends on how Hue Jackson calls the game. He’s still got weapons. Marcel Reece is as dangerous a full back as you’ll ever see. That might sound funny to say but its true. He can lineup anywhere on the field and is a threat when he gets the ball in the open field. Chaz Schilens is a very relaible posession receiver with 4.3 speed plus Michael Bush is a beast on screen passes. For Oakland it is all about getting closer to running a more pure version of the West Coast offense. High percentage passes, positive gains on the ground and exploiting matchups. Carson Palmer can take shots downfield so long as he has time in the pocket and his guys are getting open. Got to admit, it would be nice to get one on Charles Woodson if he does play Sunday.
Q. Aaron Rodgers has been unstoppable this year. What will the Raiders have to do to at least try and and slow him down?
About the only thing you can do against Rodgers is try to apply constant pressure. He is a man like any other and after getting beat up all day he’ll think twice the next time he sees a Raider bearing down on him. The problem is Rodgers gets the ball out of his hands with Usain Bolt speed and dude can take a hit. Oakland’s best bet would be to have put in a plan this week that the Packers haven’t seen on game tape. Dropping D-lineman into coverage, usuing clever zone schemes to mix with their man principles and slipping some GHB into Rodgers Gatorade bottle are the best methods.
Q. Has Carson Palmer been accepted in Oakland and do you expect he will be the long-term answer even when Jason Campbell comes back?
Raider Nation loves Palmer. Let’s be honest, after JaMistake we were proud to have Bruce Gradkowski. Fact of the matter is Palmer makes throws few QBs in the league can make and he’s learned the offense so quickly that the Raiders are running no huddle pretty often. As for Jason Campbell. Look, I love the guy. He’s a pro’s pro. First in, last out kind of guy. But his days in Oakland are done. The Raiders have to pay Palmer for the next four years and JC is an FA. Unless he’s willing to take a paycut and accept a backup role then Campbell might as well start packing now. I’m sure he’ll be able to get a starting gig somewhere. When you look around the league there is no way a guy like Campbell should be a backup. He’s not a dynamic QB but he makes good decisions, is a true leader and can make every throw there is.
Q. Ok, be honest … Do you feel the Raiders can beat Green Bay? Give us your thoughts on how you feel the game will go … And give us a final score.
In all honesty I do believe the Raiders can beat the Packers. The last couple of years we’ve seen the Raiders rise to the occasion against really tough competition. However, this Packer squad is playing at a level few teams ever reach in the NFL. At this point you have to hope Green Bay makes mistakes cause beating them straight up is a long shot. It pains me but my gut says Packers 38, Raiders 24. It will be a better game that some expect but the Raiders have had problems scoring in the 4th and that is when Rodgers and company usually seal the deal.
Topics: Aaron Rodgers, Bill Belichick, Carson Palmer, Charles Woodson, Green Bay Packers, Jason Campbell, Just Blog Baby, LeBron James, Marcel Reece, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders, Tim Tebow