Earlier this week, Raiders owner Mark Davis fired Dave Ziegler, Josh McDaniels, and Mick Lombardi. Champ Kelly will be the interim general manager, Antonio Pierce will be the interim head coach, and Bo Hardegree will be the offensive coordinator.
It was time for the Raiders to move on. The Raiders offense was bad under McDaniels; they were the only team whose offense has yet to score 20 points in a game this season. McDaniels had lost the locker room or was on the verge of losing it.
Pierce had a fiery press conference on Wednesday that excited Raiders' fans, and on Thursday, the Raiders' locker was much looser and looked like they were having fun, according to Raiders beat writers.
O'Connell Gets the Start
Now for the game, Pierce announced that rookie Quarterback Aiden O'Connell will get the start. He will replace Jimmy Garoppolo, who has struggled this season and has thrown nine interceptions.
It will be a challenging game for O'Connell. The Giants have a good defense, and they like to blitz a lot. It will be up to new offensive coordinator Hardegree to devise a plan for O'Connell to get rid of the ball quickly.
The offensive line will need to protect O'Connell to give time to pass. In his first start against the Los Angeles Chargers, O'Connell struggled early, taking sacks and didn't look sharp, but he battled back and showed some promise and almost led the Raiders to a comeback win. The Raiders have good receivers in Davante Adams and Jakobi Meyers, and we may see more Hunter Renfrow with McDaniels gone. The Raiders will probably use some bubble screens and quick passes to get the ball out quickly.
Get the Running Game Going
Las Vegas must be able to run the ball; the Raiders rushing attack has struggled so far this season. Josh Jacobs has rushed for 408 yards and averages 3.1 yards per carry. It will be up to the offensive line to open up holes for Jacobs. The Giants give up 127.4 yards per game rushing, however, so there will be opportunities to run.
Slow Down Saquon Barkley and Pressure Daniel Jones
On defense, it's simple: slow down Saquon Barkley and get after Daniel Jones. Barkley ran for 128 yards rushing against the New York Jets last week. The Raiders gave up over 200 yards rushing to the Detroit Lions Monday night and give up 140.6 yards rushing per game this season.
Las Vegas must do a better job tackling and winning the line of scrimmage. Max Crosby must wreak havoc, rushing the passer and stopping the run. I would like to see Malcolm Koonce and Tyree Wilson get after it as well in this game. Expect the Raiders to play with more passion with a new coach and better energy floating around, but it must transfer to the football field. It's time to cut out the mental mistakes and play fast and free.
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