The Oakland Raiders return home for the first time since September 15th to face the Detroit Lions. The Raiders had games in Minnesota, Indianapolis, London, Green Bay, and Houston. With the hard part of the schedule out the way, the 3-4 Raiders are set with three straight home games and are primed to make a run for the playoffs. Here are some things to look for in the game.
The Raiders Offensive line
The offensive line is one of the strengths of this Raiders team. But they come into the LIons games with some injuries. Center Rodney Hudson missed practice most of the week due to an ankle injury. He did some light work on Friday. Also, backup center Andre James missed practice this week but also practiced at a limited level on Friday.
If both can’t go, Richie Incognito could get the start at center or newly acquired Erik Magnuson. Incognito had played the center position before when he was with the St. Louis Rams. The Loins only have 13 sacks on the season, but they do have some talent on their defensive line. It will be interesting to see what happens if both centers can not play for the Raiders.
The Key for the Raiders every week will be to get Josh Jacobs the ball. He is one of the best rookies this season. He was named AFC Offensive Rookie of the Month for October. In October, he rushed for 313 yards and two touchdowns on 62 carries. Also, jacobs averaged 104.3 yards per game and 5 yards per carry.
So far this season, Jacobs has rushed for 620 yards. The Lions rush defense gives up 130 yards per game, look for the Raider to run Jacobs a lot in this one.
Matt Stafford has put together a solid season for the Lions. He has thrown for 2,093 yards passing, 16 touchdowns and just four interceptions. The Raiders defensive front needs to be able to get some pressure on Stafford. The Raider’s defensive line has struggled to get sacks as of late. Maybe with the energy of the crowd, it can give them something extra to get to the quarterback. If the Raiders can’t pressure Stafford, they will be putting their secondary in a bad spot.
This will be an exciting game because both teams need a win. I think the game will come down to who can pressure the quarterback, both team struggles getting sacks and give up big plays on defense. I think if the Raiders can establish the running game early, it would open up the play-action passing game for Derek Carr. With Tyrell Williams being back, he could have a big game against this Lions defense. Williams has five touchdowns on the season.
It is time for the Raiders defensive line and defense as a whole to step up and make some plays. The Raiders need a lot more rookie Clelin Ferrell and also more from Maurice Hurst; he needs to play as he did against the Bears. Hopefully, they can both step up.