The Oakland Raiders face off against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday for their third game of the year.
The Raiders are looking to have their first two game winning streak since winning the last two games of the 2008 season where they beat Houston and Tampa Bay ending both teams’ playoff chances. In 2009 they were outscored in all the games after wins by a combined 19-142.
Here are the Oakland Raiders keys to victory against the Cards:
- Score points-This may seem obvious, but for all the yards the Raiders were able to amass against the Rams they still only scored 16 points after only scoring 13 points the week before. They need to convert on their opportunities inside Cardinal territory.
- Protect the quarterback-Mario Henderson and Jared Veldheer will be rotating again at left tackle. Gradkowksi used his mobility to make things happen against the Rams and avoid the sack. However, if they are going to have any sustained success the offense is going to have to give Bruce Almighty time to work.
- Pound the rock-Darren McFadden has had a phenomenal opening two games. With the expected return of Michael Bush on Sunday, D-Mac won’t be toting the rock 30 times again. However, if he keeps running the way he ran the first two games, being rotated with Bush should give him a better chance for the big plays.
- Nnamdi Asomugha on Larry Fitzgerald-It is not the usual Raiders defense to lock their best corner on the other team’s best receiver. However, this should be the game to change that. Fitzgerald is an elite receiver and Asomugha is an elite defensive back. So far both Sam Bradford and Vince Young avoided Asomugha altogether. Putting Aso on Fitzgerald would give Derick Anderson pause in going to his go to guy. Otherwise, the Cards will move Fitz away from Aso, and he will have his way with Stanford Routt.
- Pressure Derek Anderson. Anderson had one good season when he was in Cleveland, however he gets rattled easily. The Raiders have five sacks in two games, and they need to bring heat this time.