Countdown to Paydirt: at New England Patriots

The Oakland Raiders are coming off of a demoralizing 30-14 blowout loss to the Houston Texans, and things won’t get any easier this week.

Dennis Allen takes his team back to the East Coast for the second time in three weeks, creating a rather difficult schedule.

The Raiders have been unable to get anything going offensively, averaging just 261 yards of offense per game, ranking second to last in the league after two games.

Rookie quarterback Derek Carr and the offense will not get an easier matchup this week, taking on a Patriots defense that is only allowing 288.5 total yards per game (fourth in the NFL).

The Patriots’ defense is lead by cornerback Darrelle Revis and the secondary, which is allowing just 166.0 yards through the air. Though the season is still young, Revis is seemingly putting another great season together. He has held Ryan Tannehill and Matt Cassel to 3-of-11 for 40 yards, one touchdown and one interception through the first two contests, according BostonHerald.com.

Carr has proved formidable at the quarterback position, completing just under 65 percent of his attempts while throwing for 414 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. That said, Carr may want to avoid throwing at Revis when he can.

Some good news for the Raiders is that the Patriots have been susceptible to give up some yardage on the ground, allowing 122.5 rushing yards per game on the ground.

This is good for the Raiders, who have struggled mightily to establish their rushing attack with Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden. The Raiders have rushed for an excruciatingly low 63 yards per game.

The Patriots are coming off of a dominating win of their own, earning their first victory by defeating the Adrian Peterson-less Minnesota Vikings 30-7. Though he hasn’t put up big numbers this season, Tom Brady is once again leading the Patriots offense. Brady has been historically successful leading the Patriots offense, holding the franchise records in passing touchdowns, yards, completions and career wins.

This season, the Patriots passing attack is averaging just 187.0 yards per game in the air. That said, a Patriots offense ran by Brady always has the potential to bust out for big gains.

The Raiders secondary will need to keep track big tight end Rob Gronkowski when he’s on the field, as he’s the biggest threat to score a touchdown. The Patriots have limited his snap count as he is coming off of offseason surgery, but the Raiders must know when he’s on the field.

The Patriots leading receiver is Julian Edelman as he has quickly become Brady’s favorite target. The sixth-year receiver has hauled in 12 receptions for 176 yards and one touchdown.

The Raiders have struggled against the run mightily, allowing 200.0 rushing yards per game - ranking worst in the NFL. The Patriots are coming off of a 150-yard rushing game, led by Steven Ridley who rushed for 101 yards and one touchdown on 25 carries.

On top of stopping Ridley, the Raiders defense needs to also stop Shane Vereen who is a dangerous weapon out of the backfield as both a rusher and receiver.

The Raiders hope to get on the board with their first win of the 2014 season before they head even further east, going to London to host the Miami Dolphins in their week four matchup.


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