Don't expect a repeat of New England's strategy

Do it until they prove they can stop it. Conventional wisdom suggests that notion may apply to the Raiders' Sunday night matchup at Pittsburgh. Then again, maybe not.

 

Do it until they prove they can stop it. Conventional wisdom suggests that notion may apply to the Raiders' Sunday night matchup at Pittsburgh. Then again, maybe not.

            New England quarterback Tom Brady shredded the Steelers defense by completing 29-of-43 passes for 294 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Patriots to a 30-14 win Monday night. The Patriots threw 25 consecutive pass plays from late in the first quarter to early in the third. That's an entire game worth of passing for some teams. New England frequently went to no-backs and no-huddle formations. So that means Oakland will do the same thing Sunday, right? Not likely.

            "Maybe, you never know," Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon said. "You always look for ways to get better. We have a lot of things we haven't shown yet. We've still got to be true to who we are. You can't say that just because New England had success we will too. Pittsburgh is still very stout against the running game."

            In addition, if a team gets beat in one manner in a game, chances are they will address that issue heading into the next game.

            "We're never going to spread it out like New England and throw 25 straight passes," Raiders wide receiver Tim Brown said. "Pittsburgh just had some turnovers."

For all the uproar Raider critics raise about their offensive conservatism, one cannot argue their efficiency. Last season, the Raiders threw a league-low nine interceptions and yielded were 27 sacks. That total of 36 minus plays was the third lowest in the league (the New York Jets and Chicago Bears had 33). The Patriots, on the other hand, had a minus rating of 61, including 46 sacks.

 


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