Gameday is upon Las Vegas Raiders fans once again after their bye last week, getting ready to take on another Super Bowl contender in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Raiders though will be going into this game undermanned.
Safety Jonathan Abram and right tackle Trent Brown have been ruled out due to being placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
The rest of the Raiders starting offensive line was also placed on the list, but they’ve been cleared to play and alleviate any concerns that the Raiders will be going in with a complete backup unit.
Even with them though, the Bucs will pose an incredible challenge due to their offense led by Tom Brady and a defense second in the league in sacks.
Here’s what the Raiders need to do to overcome that challenge and my predictions for the game.
Key #1: Protection Up Front
The Raiders offensive line has played well so far this season, but they’re going up against one of the league’s most dominant defensive fronts in the Bucs.
Second in the league in sacks as was stated earlier with 22, they also give up the least rushing yards per game.
The Raiders o-line will need to be able to hold off Ndamukong Suh, Lavonte David, Shaquil Barrett and others.
If they can’t get balance with Josh Jacobs, then Tampa will have all day to pressure Derek Carr.
Key #2: Getting Pressure Up the Middle
Like I said when the Raiders faced the Chiefs, getting pressure up the middle will be key for the Raiders on defense in this game.
It’s the one blueprint that’s been proven to work against Tom Brady, and especially of Maliek Collins ends up playing, the Raiders need to move Brady off his spot.
Key #3: Keep the Big Plays Coming
The Raiders showed against the Chiefs that they can be explosive in the passing game.
They need to look to generate those same kinds of opportunities against Tampa Bay.
Against a defense as good as the Bucs, you need to keep pressure on them.
If the Raiders can do that, they won’t have any chance to set the tone they want.
The Raiders may be at home coming off their bye, but the Bucs are coming off a dominant win against a good team in the Green Bay Packers.
I don’t expect this to be a blowout, as the Raiders should have their chances.
The Bucs though are as well balanced as any team in the league, and when you have Tom Brady on your side, you get the feeling he’ll find a way to make a play.
Expect it to be a tight one, but with the Bucs coming out with a 31-24 win.
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