The Expatriated Patriots Fan: The Pre-Snap Read Raiders Edition


Sep 14, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) calls out a play against the Minnesota Vikings in the third quarter at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY SportsThe Expatriated Patriots Fan: The Pre-Snap Read Raiders Edition.

Last minute thoughts prior to the Raiders game.

I almost feel sorry for the Raiders for their schedule. Almost.

The Raiders have lost their last 14 games on the East coast. Almost a full season of losses! They played the Jets in Week 1, now New England in Week 3, and next week they go to (Old) England for a game. That’s a heck of a schedule for any team, much less a struggling one.

The Patriots should dominate, but …

The Patriots should dominate this one. West coast team playing a 1:00 game on the East coast. Rookie QB. The Raiders didn’t get even one sack in their loss to Houston. Two of the Raiders starting linebackers out due to injury, Maurice Drew Jones just back from surgery on his hand, and the Pats working with basically a few complement of players for once. But the Pats sometimes make a habit of playing down to their opposition. I am hopeful we get off to a fast start and put the Raiders away early this time, and not let them hang around.

Spreading the ball around is key to getting ahead early.

The Raiders secondary is beatable and shouldn’t test Brady too much. But, he needs to shake the tendency he has started to develop of forcing the ball to Gronk or Edelman and work to get some of the other receivers involved. Those are his two best receivers, and they should lead in targets. But I would like to see a bit more even distribution. Especially getting Dobson involved so that we have some slight ability to stretch the field. Also in game 3, maybe we will see some impact from Tim Wright. We traded Logan Mankins for him, so I am hoping he pays off.

Ridley is key to putting the game away.

Last week Ridley dominated the touches for running backs. He was also able to get tough yards closing the game out. They knew we were going to run, and he still took it to them up the middle anyway. That is a capability that Vereen (For all his talent) and Bolden don’t bring. Let’s hope he hangs onto the ball and delivers another great game this week.

This is a chance for Revis to show his worth.

Bill Belichick likes to dial up exotic blitzes to confuse rookie QBs. The last couple years though, the secondary limitations have often forced him to go more generic with soft zones and made some rookies look like Peyton Manning. Revis’s famed ability to cover his man without help should allow Bill to return to his more aggressive and confusing schemes. Let’s hope for a long day for rookie Derek Carr. As a random tidbit, Matt Schaub is a health is going to be a healthy scratch for this game. That is quite a drop for the one time star QB.

Prediction for the game: Patriots 28 Raiders 10