Here at the Raider Ramble, we provide key game notes to track for each Raider game throughout the season. As such, here is what to watch for this week during the home opener at the Oakland Coliseum, Sunday, September 17, 1:05 PM on CBS.
Finally! Raider Nation will now get to see their prized first-round draft pick hit the field for the Silver and Black in their week two matchup hosting the New York Jets. Conely has been out since OTA’s and hasn’t played a down in the preseason or in the first game of the regular season. As general manager, Reggie McKenzie’s first-round draft pick (24th overall) all eyes are going to be on him. Initially, it was thought that Conley and second-round pick safety Obi Melifonwu were poised to make an immediate impact. While it is unclear the amount of playing time Conley will receive, Raider Nation and the NFL community alike will be anxiously awaiting to see what he is capable of.
DEFENSE – DEFENSE – DEFENSE
Did I say defense? Can one say it enough? The Raiders defense was a big surprise in week one against the Tennessee Titans limiting them to 350 total yards while only giving up 95 yards on the ground and 255 through the air and ended up with a good showing last Sunday. Can they put the clamps down on a porous Jets offense with next to no real viable offensive threats? It will be imperative for the rookie class to duplicate their week one success and continue making a name for themselves. Rookie linebackers Marquel Lee and Nicholas Morrow had their successful moments against the Titans as did defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes. Edge rusher Khalil Mack also made a couple key plays despite not recording a sack. The Titans frequently used two or three blockers on Mack for games entirety, thus is impact won’t be seen on the stat sheet. With the Jets weak offense and the likelihood of an increased passing attack due to playing from behind, expect Mack to nab two sacks, but don’t be shocked if it’s more.
Running back Marshawn Lynch will have his true homecoming this Sunday. It will be the first time wearing an Oakland Raiders uniform in front of his hometown, where he grew up and played high school football at Oakland Technical High School. Marshawn’s mother, Delisa, commonly referred to as ‘Momma Lynch’, also attended Oakland Tech. and once held a 200-meter track record. Marshawn also played college football for the Golden Bears at Cal-Berkley where he holds the school record for most 100-yard rushing games with 17. With ‘Momma Lynch’ on the sideline, this is sure to be a special moment for him and a huge game will likely be the result. I expect the coaches to feed him the ball in goal-line situations and I’m predicting he scores at least one if not two or three touchdowns against the Jets to put an exclamation point on his special day.
While many believe the Raiders should destroy the Jets, it will be interesting to see if they play at a high level and dominate or if they play down to their opponents level. I don’t anticipate the offense having any problems against the Jets 28th ranked defense per NFL.com. Look for the Oakland Raiders 19th ranked offense with Derek Carr, Marshawn Lynch, and company to continue establishing dominance over their NFL counterparts.