Each week, Raiders.com Senior Editor Jerry Knaak poses five questions heading into that weekend's matchup. In the wake of the Oakland Raiders 30-20 loss to the Green Bay Packers, here are the answers to this week's questions.
1. How will the Raiders contain Aaron Rodgers?
With a lot of pressure and maintaining rush lanes. Rodgers completed 22 of 39 for 204 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT, on the day. His pocket presence and escapability did get him out of trouble a few times. He was sacked twice but managed to get away and complete passes downfield on a couple of occasions. All-in-all, the Raiders did a pretty good job on one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, although a blown coverage left wide receiver James Jones wide open for a 30-yard touchdown strike.
2. What can the Raiders do to stop the Packers running game?
Again, for the most part, the Raiders defense did a nice job here as well. The Packers running game was non-existent in the first half but did a find a modicum of success in the second. The Packers rushed for 104 yards on the day, but much of that was in the fourth quarter. Raiders defensive end Benson Mayowa stripped the ball from running back James Starks and recovered it to thwart a Packers scoring chance late in the 2nd quarter.
Raiders challenge Green Bay throughout most of a close Week 15 matchup, but ultimately come up short 30-20 to the Packers.
- What do the Raiders need to do to put in a good performance in front of the home fans?**
The loss drops the Raiders to 2-5 at home this season. Quarterback Derek Carr's two first quarter interceptions put the Raiders in a 14-0 hole. Eventually, the Raiders rebounded and made a game of it. The fans stayed in the rain until the bitter end as the Silver and Black tried in vain to erase a 10-point 4th quarter deficit. The defense played very well for most of the game shutting down the run, pressuring the quarterback and defending passes downfield. Too many penalties in the secondary, however, kept Green Bay drives alive. The Raiders five home losses so far this season have been by a combined 67 points while their three road losses have been by a combined 10 points. The home game woes are a bit of mystery.
4. What can the Raiders do to jump-start the offense?
After the defense held the Packers to a three-and-out on their opening possession, the Raiders offense picked up a couple of first downs before Green Bay forced a punt. The interceptions on the next two possession put the Raiders in that 14-0 hole that they were able to dig out of. Running back Latavius Murray carried the ball 21 times for 78 yards and Carr scrambled for 42 yards. Carr completed 23 of 47 for 276 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. The offense had a decent start to the opening drive and was able to move ball sporadically throughout the game until the fourth quarter when Green Bay dialed up the pass rush and made a couple of 4th down stops.
5. What offensive line adjustments will the Raiders make? Rookie Jon Feliciano made his first career start at right guard as J'Marcus Webb moved over to right tackle in place of Austin Howard who was put on season-ending injured reserve Saturday. The Packers only sacked Carr twice, and the Raiders amassed 120 yards rushing.