1. Feast on Big Mac
Maybe he isn't, though.
Last weekend, McFadden tore up the Chiefs for 164 yards and a touchdown on an electric 7.8 yards a clip. JaMarcus Russell completed six passes and the Raiders dominated against a team the New England Patriots struggled against.
McFadden pioneered the assault. The Raiders rushed for 300 yards – yes, 300. I don't care if you're playing against the Little Giants, the Syracuse Orange, 300 yards is a parade impossible to rain on. Now
Buffalo must be prepared for a rushing attack far better than the two its already faced. A turf toe is currently bogging down McFadden and Justin Fargas is doubtful for the game, but the Raiders will still be in good shape. McFadden and Michael Bush could become of the league's best 1-2 punches. McFadden's a home run threat (five runs of at least 19 yards last week), the 245-pound Bush is a bruiser (16 carries, 90 yards last week) and in the end, Russell can stink it up all he wants. At least that's the Raiders' plan for now.
Amidst the complete internal dysfunction, spiky, face-painted end zone fans and a 19-61 record the past five years, people forget that the Raiders have a dynamite rushing attack. Last season the Raiders ranked sixth in the NFL in rushing, plugging in three different starters through the season. The system works. Lane Kiffin must be doing something right, Al. Now with a scintillating, fourth-overall pick talent in the system, Oakland's rushing game could reach new heights this season. As quirky and twisted as that may sound for a franchise in shambles, it's true.
Marcus Stroud and Kyle Williams must stuff the Raiders' rushing game at the point of attack as the defensive tackle duo has through two games. Make McFadden run east-west, and let an active linebacker corps chase them down.
2. Air it out
Trent Edwards' confidence is in the fast lane.
Buffalo should ride the wave for all it's worth. Quarterbacks can slip into two-, three- or four-game funks spontaneously. So while Edwards is hot, the Bills would be wise to take advantage of Oakland's porous pass defense.
Jay Cutler carved the Raiders' secondary for 300 yards on only 16 completions in week one – without No.1 wideout Brandon Marshall. Nnamdi Asomugha is one of the best cover corners in the game, but offensive coordinator Turk Schonert has found ways to match Lee Evans up on inferior cornerbacks.
If the Bills can get Evans into space with regularity, Edwards should have a field day. He's completing over 70 percent of his passes and ranks eighth in the NFL with a 107.7 passer rating. Last week, Edwards was lights out (20-for-25) in one of the hostile environments in the NFL. Back home against a shady defense, extrapolated with a pass-heavy game plan, Edwards could bust out big time.
3. Demoralize Oakland early
Lane Kiffin isn't going to quit his job, beg for his job or pour any gasoline onto a fire that is burning at an awkward rate.
You get the impression that Al Davis would fire Kiffin if he came to work with his shirt slightly untucked. Davis – obsessive with having a puppet head coach – wants Kiffin out. Forget that Davis is the one that molded a team high on overpaid skill position players and low on talent in the trenches.
Kiffin has done his best to curtail the distraction. But the internal drama has to be eating away at the team's morale. If the Bills race to a quick 14-0 lead, the Raiders probably wouldn't have the resolve to dig themselves back into the game. Since playing in the Super Bowl in 2002, Oakland has been a team that habitually clocks out when games turn south.
Going for the jugular early whips a team already in turmoil into more turmoil – that's impossible to come back from. Look for that to be the case Sunday.
Prediction: Bills 34, Raiders 13
The Bills are on a roll - fresh off two wins against teams that won playoff games last season. This week Buffalo cruises with ease.