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Raiders Mailbag: Can the Raiders right their wrongs from their divisional rivalry loss?


Will Scharnow said:

"Get pressure on the young QB and force him into mistakes. And please, someone cover Ja'Marr Chase or you'll be 'chasing' him into the end zone."

I'm a fan of puns in sports writing – so I can't go further into this question without giving praise to your "you'll be 'chasing' Chase" comment. That's actually kind of funny.

Furthermore, yes you are absolutely right, Will. The Raiders defensive line is going to have to step up in a big way to make Joe Burrow uncomfortable in the pocket. When Burrow has been provided time to make plays, he's made some explosive plays with Ja'Marr Chase. Burrow has thrown for nearly 2,500 yards and 20 touchdowns this season and his first-round rookie receiver has 835 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. The two have been a dangerous duo since their 2019 National Championship season at LSU, and will have to be contained by the likes of Maxx Crosby, Yannick Ngakoue and Casey Hayward Jr.. Hayward will more than likely be covering Chase the majority of the game on the outside and has yet to surrender a touchdown this season.

Mac Aguilar said:

"Control the line of scrimmage, run the football so we can have true play action."

After two straight games of rushing for over 100 yards, the run attack took a dip against the Chiefs. The trio of Derek Carr, Josh Jacobs and Kenyan Drake produced only 50 rushing yards in the loss – their second-lowest rushing total of the season. To your credit Mac, it all starts upfront at the line of scrimmage. The Raiders have looked dominant this season when the offensive line has won the battle in the trenches – which is something that will be a huge point of emphasis against Cincinnati. Pre-snap penalties and holding calls also must be limited to keep the offense on the field for long drives.

"I feel like on any level of football, it all starts with the line," said Drake. "That's what makes any great team great is the line of scrimmage. So when you have your guys upfront dominating, you're going to go as far as they go. And that was obviously clear the Philly game or the Denver game where we were being a very aggressive team upfront. Getting those run holes, then the defense comes up and you can get those shot plays over the top, those play action plays and that keeps the defense off balance. They don't know what to really expect."

Alisha Fitzsimmons says:

"I hope DeSean Jackson gets a chance to redeem himself."

DeSean Jackson was not brought to the Raiders to not get the ball. He will get more chances to be the player he is.

The one shot Carr took to Jackson resulted in a 38-yard catch. Unfortunately, the play resulted in a momentum shifting fumble. While Jackson's first catch as a Raider didn't go to plan, he still has a lot of games left this season to get back on the right track and let's remember – he'd been with the team for a week before that game. He's the most accomplished wide receiver on the roster and used his speed to open up the field for the offense on several occasions against the Chiefs. The more snaps he gets with Carr in this offense, the more opportunities will come for him to make deep plays down the field.

"He was just trying to make a play, I don't fault him," Coach Bisaccia said of Jackson after the game. "He'll watch it and learn from it, however. You'll be able to talk to him and he'll grow from it. But he's a good player man. A lot of speed out there. He helped set their safeties back a little farther when he's on the field, it was good to see."

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