On Sunday afternoon the Oakland Raiders will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in an out of conference game. Both teams enter the match-up with 3-4 records and both teams have won two out of their last three games. The Raiders are looking for their third straight win.
In order to beat the Buccaneers, Oakland must stay patient with the running game. Tampa Bay's defense is ranked 6th in the NFL, allowing only 85 yards per game. In last week's win, running back Darren McFadden carried the ball 29 times for 114 yards. Look for the Raiders to continue to give McFadden opportunities because when he is productive the offense is remarkably better.
Quarterback Carson Palmer should have chances to be effective in the passing game. The Buccaneers are ranked 31st in passing defense allowing 309.6 yards per game. Palmer and wide receiver Denarius Moore have connected for touchdowns in three straight games. Moore's quickness allows him to find soft spots in the defense. Because the Raiders have only scored eight touchdowns on 23 red zone attempts this season, Palmer needs Moore to remain a consistent target. All week the Raiders have preached efficiency and scoring touchdowns when they have red zone chances. They must capitalize this week.
Defensively, the Raiders will face quarterback Josh Freeman, who has been playing extremely well in recent weeks. He has thrown nine touchdowns to just one interception in his last three games. He also has big wide receivers on the outside who can make plays. Both Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams have height advantages on Pat Lee and Michael Huff. The cornerbacks must play disciplined and put themselves in good positions to make plays on the football.
The Oakland defense will also face rookie running back Doug Martin, who is coming off of a 214 yard performance against the Minnesota Vikings. The Raiders coaches have praised his ability all week and the game plan will focus on stopping the first year pro. Linebacker Rolando McClain has played well against the run this season, but has a toe injury and is questionable for the game. That will put more emphasis on Philip Wheeler and Miles Burris to pick up the slack. Both linebackers have played very well this season, making sure tackles and flying to the football.
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