LANDOVER, Md — Marshawn Lynch isn’t the one one who is aware of the right way to shut the present.
That duty via the primary two weeks has fallen to the Raiders’ offense as an entire, and the probabilities of going three-zero on a nationwide stage might properly relaxation with their capacity to regulate the motion within the fourth quarter at FedEx Subject Sunday night time at 5:30 towards Washington.
By means of two video games, the Raiders are justifying their pre-season buzz based mostly on their 12-four season a yr in the past and return to the playoffs.
And whereas beating a strong Tennessee group 26-sixteen on the street and hammering a poor Jets workforce forty five-20 at house isn’t trigger for printing postseason tickets, it’s the primary time within the tenure of coach Jack Del Rio the Raiders have put collectively again to again wins by 10 or extra factors.
Within the fourth quarters towards Tennessee and New York, the Raiders have a 27-10 benefit on the scoreboard and owned greater than 21 of half-hour of clock time.
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It’s true the Raiders have been better than expected on defense. It’s also true they’ll never be better than when they’re resting and hydrating while Derek Carr and Co. take care of business on the field.
“Well, in my history and in the long time I’ve been in this game, the best defense is a good offense,” defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. said. “Really good ball control, having a good run game and an offense that really understands how to eat up the clock and just grind out the yards.
“That’s really important for us to be on the sideline rooting them on.”
Lynch owned the fourth quarter in Week 1, carrying nine times for 40 yards. It was a group effort against the Jets, with Lynch getting just one carry and most of his cardio during the gone-viral sideline dance.
The Raiders finished the game off with a 12-play, 37-yard drive that consumed 8:17, ending in Giorgio Tavecchio’s 29-yard field goal.
Offensive coordinator Todd Downing said the Raiders balance playing the clock against going for the jugular of the opponent.
“The good thing is that coach Del Rio really doesn’t want to come off the gas,” Downing said. “That’s something he’s instilled in the entire staff. We stay aggressive with our game plan but certainly clock management is something we take very seriously.
“There are purposeful and intentional calls that are still designed to be aggressive and move the ball.”
What to watch for in Week 3
1. Downfield strikes: Carr has been content for the most part to unload quickly and let his receivers do the work after the catch.
But that doesn’t mean the Raiders have suddenly gone conservative. Tennessee was a tough road opponent where keeping turnovers at a minimum was paramount.
Against the Jets, no need to expose Carr to unnecessary hits when the running game was getting explosive touchdowns from Cordarrelle Patterson (43 yards) and Jalen Richard (52 yards).
Carr’s longest completion in two games — 39 yards to Richard — came on a dumpoff. He’s due for something beyond a medium range strike with Amari Cooper the most likely target.
2. David Amerson goes home: Well, not home exactly, but to the team that drafted him the second round in 2013 only to give up on him less than three years later.
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The veteran cornerback is smarting after giving up two touchdown passes from Josh McCown to Jermaine Kearse. And he knows what Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins can do if he gets rolling.
“He’s always been a good, solid quarterback. Mechanics look good, makes the right reads,” Amerson said. “He can get hot on you of you let him. He can throw for outrageous yards. If you get good pressure on him and hit him a little bit he can get out of synch.
“We really kind of determine which Kirk Cousins we’re going to get.”
Amerson as well as Gareon Conley, TJ Carrie and possibly Sean Smith could find themselves faced with 6-foot-4, 228-pound Terrelle Pryor in coverage.
3. Controlling Kerrigan: One of the NFL’s top sack artists with 60 career sacks since 2011 and 1 1/2 in two games this season, Ryan Kerrigan (6-foot-4, 259 pounds) will play in space on the as the weak side linebacker and Donald Penn will need to get get his 315-pound body on him.
Kerrigan has never had fewer than 7 1/2 sacks in a year with a high of 13 1/2 in 2014.
Penn, 34, has shown the ability to deal with both base ends and smaller pass rushers over the past three seasons.
4. Staying clean: Pay no mind to some of the questionable penalties the Raiders were hit with against the Jets, an unnecessary roughness call against Bruce Irvin in particular.
Through two games, the Raiders have looked sharp and played sharp. No false starts or holds on offense. Substitutions on both sides of the ball going without a hitch.
Washington cornerback Josh Norman is a prime candidate to try and get in the head of a Raiders receiver or two. Wonder if Crabtree will wear his chain?
5. Meeting the moment: The Raiders have the look of a team that will enjoy the big stage.It’s Sunday night in prime time in the nation’s capitol. Del Rio seemed mostly amused when asked about the issue of such a late starting time in an East Coast game.
The work is put in during the week in a serious way. Game time is the fun part.
“Have you ever been fishing? Do you go golfing? Whatever it is you like to do, you have no problem getting up for it,” Del Rio said. “My wife is like, `You have no problem getting excited about going to golf. And I say, `Yeah, that’s right, I love it.’ If you love playing football, it doesn’t matter. Just tee it up, kick it off and let’s play.”