The Oakland Raiders are road underdogs against the Green Bay Packers in Week 7. However, they have a lot going for them that should instill confidence in their ability to win. Here are four reasons why Oakland will leave Lambeau as victors.
1. Green Bay’s Lack of Offensive Weapons
The Packers are hobbled, particularly at wide receiver. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers won’t have his usual weapons to throw to as Davante Adams is out with turf toe and Geronimo Allison is questionable with a concussion. Meanwhile, Marquez Valdes-Scantling did not practice all week while dealing with left knee and left ankle injuries.
If all three are out, Rodgers will have Ryan Grant, Allen Lazard, Jake Kumerow and Darrius Shepherd at his disposal. Career stat lines for the aforementioned four goes as follows:
- Grant: 123 receptions, 1,333 yards, 7 touchdowns
- Lazard: 5 receptions, 72 yards, 1 touchdown
- Kumerow: 12 receptions, 141 yards, 1 touchdown
- Shepherd: 1 reception, 1 yard
If Green Bay rolls into Sunday’s bout with the aforementioned four, Oakland’s young secondary will have the opportunity to limit Rodgers’ offense.
2. Josh Jacobs Against The Packers Run Defense
Here’s an evergreen statement: Rookie running back Josh Jacobs is in line for a big game on Sunday.
The Packers defense did an excellent job limiting Detroit’s Kerryon Johnson-led run game in Week 6. That’s where the praise stops. Running backs are thrashing the Green Bay defense.
Green Bay has allowed 664 yards (24th in the NFL) and seven touchdowns to backs on the ground, tied for last in the NFL. They have also allowed 35 receptions for 280 yards and a touchdown to running backs, good for 23rd, 22nd and tied for 13th.
On the other side of the ball, Jacobs is a full-fledged workhorse for the Raiders. Coming off of a bye, the Alabama product is 10th in the NFL in rushing yards (430), ninth in touchdowns (four) and sixth in rushing yards per game (86).
To top it off, the Raiders are averaging a league-best six yards per carry against eight-plus-man boxes. The Packers are allowing a league-worst 5.92 yards per carry with eight-plus-man boxes, per Josh Dubow of the Associated Press.
3. The Raiders Are Fresh
Though Oakland will be down their No. 1 wide receiver Tyrell Williams (foot) and possibly their starting right tackle Trent Brown (calf), they are fresh for this game. Whereas the Packers are coming off of a tight Monday game, the Raiders are coming off of a bye, albeit, from London.
The Raiders have a two-week rest and are coming off of back-to-back road wins. The Packers have played six-straight games, with most of their games being highly competitive. Though Lambeau Field is the location for the game, expect the Raiders to look the part of the more energetic team on Sunday.
4. Oakland’s Run Defense
Green Bay is a relatively balanced team. In an era in which passing is the norm, the Packers are 15th in the NFL in pass ratio, doing so 59.6% of the time. Their run-game, propped up by Aaron Jones — who ran for four touchdowns in Week 5’s win over the Dallas — and Jamaal Williams — who ran for 107 yards in Week 6’s win over Detroit — is a focal point of their offense.
Luckily, Oakland can defend the run. Their 92 rush yards allowed is 10th in the NFL. Jones and Williams — who Davante Adams proclaimed to be the best duo in the NFL, or you’re on meth (his words) — may have trouble running against a stout defensive front anchored by stud second-year defensive tackle Maurice Hurst.