The Raiders (3-0) have thrown 104 passes the last two games after rushing for 221 yards in a season-opening 31-17 win over the Seattle Seahawks. When Callahan took over for Jon Gruden, as the head coach many folks assumed he would be nothing more than a caretaker of a talented club.
Callahan, however, continues to put his stamp on the Raiders and does not appear to be a proponent of scaling back the playbook for future opponents. Instead, the philosophy is to show them as much as possible so there's more time to spend on preparation.
"I think we've had the versatility in the past," Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon said. "We just haven't taken it to this level. I feel we're a veteran enough group to handle the volume of the playbook."
Oakland came out throwing against Pittsburgh and Tennessee because those defenses like to gear up to stuff the run. Buffalo, however, is an opponent the Raiders might look to run a little bit more against because the Bills rank 23rd in the NFL in run defense. Do not expect Oakland to completely abandon its passing game, Buffalo ranks 14th in pass defense.
"If anything, we throw the ball out of respect for the defense," Oakland wide receiver Tim Brown said. "Sometimes with teams like Pittsburgh and Tennessee, you can't just line up and play smash mouth football because you're not going to win."The Raiders have shown they can run when they need to do so but their most recent opponents have made it so easy them to pass. Conventional wisdom suggests that the passing game is how teams win but numbers show that the ground game is still needed. In 2002, teams that have an 100-yard rusher are 17-7 and teams with a 300-yard passer are 11-10.