The Steelers are prone to getting beat in the air, so we may get to see how much the young receivers have developed this season. Oddly this could be a statement game for Mr. Drop. He scores his first touchdown last week and lets hope his confidence is elevated and he can start to put some of the drops behind him.
With Justin Fargas in the questionable injury category, we may again see more Michael Bush and Darren McFadden. Bush has seen is carries diminish after a fumble in the Bengals game and McFadden may just now be getting completely healthy from his knee injury, or the Raiders have been extremely cautious with him.
It might not make much of a difference because running on the Steelers defense is pretty difficult, so don’t expect the Raiders to pound the ball and win.
That pretty much rules out the run game and with a forecasted high of 39 degrees on Sunday, the young receivers better keep those finger warm, that is if they use them instead of their chest.
Big Ben is projected to be back on the field and the Raiders need to take advantage of a quarterback that may be releasing the ball a little earlier to avoid hits. After watching Dennis Dixon, play, I get more depressed about JaMarcus Russell inability to develop into a decent NFL passer.
As far as the Raiders quarterback? We have now seen both iterations of Bruce Gradkowski. Tom Cable explained the misses in last weeks games as just a matter of timing, but what I saw was Bruce Gradkowski showing how erratic he can be.
Sure Gradkowski isn’t going to miss as badly as Russell was, so maybe the slight improvement can still help this offense and maybe we get the better Bruce Gradkowski this week in his hometown.
Asomugha recently told the local media that the Raiders defense is too simple and doesn’t change based on the opponent. A professional way of saying things to prod coaching and ownership that the Raiders need to update their defensive philosophies.
While I couldn’t agree with Asomugha more, it isn’t wise to make such changes in the middle of the season (Although you could argue the season is over so why not). The Raiders have drafted and signed certain players based on this system. As Asomugha also stated, simple can be good if it works. No other team in the league plays as much man defense as the Raiders, and largely, the defense hasn’t been successful in about 10 years. Particularly true on the ground.
Asomugha is making his voice heard to Al Davis, that without some philosophical changes, he isn’t going to be happy next season. That is my belief. I wouldn’t be surprised if Asomugha decides to break from character and holdout for a trade. Seymour may fall into the same category.
That all depends on if Cable is retained (Asomugha cited Cable when he signed his two year extension) and a variety of other factors.
This isn’t meant to be a brag, but I may not care much this week as I’ll be watching in crystal clear HD. I purchased my first HDTV television last week and am looking forward to watching the game from the comfort of my living room. I also like that I wont have to sit 2 feet away in order to see what player made a tackle.
As an added bonus, I get great reception of Chico’s CBS affiliate and spotty reception of Chico’s Fox affiliate and as such will be able to watch the games that are blacked out in the Bay Area and Sacramento. This is great news for me and for those of you that follow along on Twitter for updates of blacked out games. I guess dropping overpriced satellite and going with over-the-air HDTV is paying additional dividends.
I laugh at myself, because most people add to TV service when they purchase a TV, we dropped it.