Coming off their bye week, the Oakland Raiders head to Wisconsin to take on Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.
Teams: Oakland Raiders (3-2) @ Green Bay Packers (5-1)
Time: 10:00 AM PT
Venue: Lambeau Field
TV/Radio: CBS, Raiders Radio Network
Are the Raiders a playoff contender?
Yes, I know it’s early, and the season isn’t even halfway over yet. However, as the Raiders enter Week 7, they find themselves in an interesting position, one many didn’t expect them to be in.
If the season ended today, the Raiders would make the playoffs as the sixth seed. They currently sit a half-game behind the Chiefs, and are tied with them in the loss column. The Raiders next three games are against tough opponents, the Packers, Texans, and Lions, with the first two on the road. However, after that stretch, they play teams like the Chargers, Jets, Titans, Jaguars, and Broncos, with five or their last eight games at home.
This game will go a long way in proving whether this is a playoff-caliber team or not.
Weak wide receiver groups
It appears that Tyrell WIlliams will miss his second straight game, as he’s still recovering from a foot injury. While that’s bad news for the Raiders, the Packers have been dealt a bit of tough luck as well. Green Bay’s star receiver DeVante Adams missed the Pack’s monday night game against Detroit, and he’s in danger of missing this one as well. If both Williams and Adams don’t suit up this week, the wide receiver groups will look very different.
Without WIlliams, the Raiders receiving corps will look like this; Trevor Davis, Hunter Renfrow, Dwayne Harris, and Zay Jones. WIthout Adams, the Packers receiving corps looks like; Marquez Valdes Scantling, Geronimo Allison, and Jake Kumerow.
Neither of these groups looks too great. Both teams have good players, but without their top wideouts, the groups look much worse. The Raiders have a better tight end duo, which helps a lot when the receiving corps are depleted, but the Packers have a better quarterback, so it evens out.
Raiders run-game Vs Packers run defense
The Raiders straight-up bullied one of the best run defenses in the league two weeks ago in London, and the one they’ll be facing this week is much easier. Over a three game stretch against Minnesota, Philadelphia, and Denver, the Packers gave up 174.3 rushing yards per game, and 5.34 yards per carry. Minnesota boasts a great run-game, one which the Raiders experienced first-hand in Week 3, but Philadelphia and Denver both have very average rushing attacks, so the Raiders should be able to do some damage here.
This Raiders offense is undeniably built around the run. Gruden loves to pound the ball, and with one of the more underrated offensive lines in the league, and a standout rookie running back in Josh Jacobs, it’s looking like a better and better idea every game. The Raiders beat the Bears by controlling the tempo with their running game, and they seem to have an advantage in that department this week.
Aaron Rodgers Vs Raiders Secondary
Along with the Raiders rushing attack, this matchup will be what decides Sunday’s game. The Raiders’ task will be easier if DeVante Adams sits this one out, but it doesn’t help much when you’re facing one of the greatest quarterbacks this league has ever seen.
The winner of this matchup will be the winner of Sunday’s game. The Raiders secondary has struggled this year, but they looked better against Chicago, albeit their matchup was Chase Daniels.
If the Raiders want to seriously contend for a playoff spot this year, the secondary is going to have to step up in games like this.
I predict the Raiders leave Wisconsin with an upset win, one that makes a statement to the rest of the league. I expect the Raiders rushing attack to dominate, and with the threat of Jacobs, I think it opens the playbook for big play-action passes from Carr to Davis, Waller, Jones, etc. The Raiders are able to control the clock, and keep Rodgers off the field.