Oakland is 1-3 and coming off what can only be considered as a necessary bye week heading into Sunday’s game against the Falcons. The raiders have been an overall disappointment in 2012 and are fairly weak in all three phases of the game.
The bye week notwithstanding, Oakland isn’t very good and hasn’t shown a consistent ability to compete at this stage of the season. There isn’t much proof in the pudding that they’ll be able to handle what the Falcons do best, or exploit the Falcons weaknesses. The Raiders simply don’t have much to offer in overall production.
Oakland has long been regarded as a big play, high scoring offense. In 2012 nothing could be further from the truth. The Raiders are putrid in scoring offense, rushing offense, and on third down. In each area Oakland ranks at, or near, the bottom.
They are average in the passing game overall, but have lacked big-play ability, ranking at or near the bottom in touchdowns and first downs. That could change as speedster wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey could be back from a concussion; his presence could provide the Falcons’ secondary with some problems. However, he cannot win the game for the Raiders. They’ll need to be far improved and well balanced to win this game on offense.
The Raiders are a much more aggressive defense in 2012, utilizing multiple looks, blitzes and coverages. However, overall talent and depth are fairly non-existent which has caused the new aggression to work in opponents’ favor thus far in 2012.
The Raiders have not had many defensive explosion plays (Sacks/Turnovers Forced) to speak of; having only forced three in each category. In direct correlation, teams are completing over 70 percent of their passes against the Raiders.
Much of the defenses struggles are attributable to injuries as Oakland has been decimated at linebacker and in the secondary. Couple that with a simple lack of production up front and it’s easy to see why the Raiders are so bad on defense.
If the game comes down to a last-second-Raiders-field-goal (Sebastian Janikowski), chalk up the W for Raider Nation. That’s about it however in reference to special teams.
As in the other two phases, the Raiders simply aren’t very good on special teams. That said, they’ve had a few decent kickoff returns over 30 yards. Other than that, they haven’t shown to be a scoring threat in the either return game.
The Raiders weren’t very good entering the bye week and there isn’t much reason the expect them to be a whole lot better coming into the game. The Falcons are better than Oakland at almost every position, position group, and phase of the game and though the Raiders are rested, they are not well. This game sets up for the Falcons to roll fairly easily.
Follow Joe on Twitter @Joe_Mac_
Get more great Atlanta Falcons news and analysis over at The Grits Blitz.