2017 Raiders First Look: Week Three Versus Washington

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Raiders DB Obi Melifonwu
May 5, 2017; Alameda, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders safety Obi Melifonwu (20) at press conference during rookie minicamp at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Week 3 of the NFL season has the Oakland Raiders going to Washington D.C. to face the Redskins. Looking at the overview, both teams possess pieces in place that give them an edge. As a result, this  matchup is the first of the season which gets tricky. It’s to be noted that a couple of days ago Redskin’s coach Kyle Shanahan said that his defensive backs will shadow receivers, which means Josh Norman could possible shadow Amari Cooper or Michael Crabtree depending on who they think is the bigger threat.


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Although, having Josh Norman as their shutdown corner is good, the rest of their secondary is a question mark, D.J. Swearinger is coming from Arizona, while Su’a Cravens is learning a new position which might make his learning curve a bit steeper so, all-in-all, this position group should not be what worries the Raiders. Meanwhile, the Raiders have additional firepower attained this offseason in Jared Cook and Cordarrelle Patterson, which would give any defensive coordinator fits along with the tandem of Crabtree and Cooper, and with our scat backs Washington and Richard, not to mention Marshawn Lynch who, seeing video during recent OTA’s looks to be in fine form this offseason.

Again, defense isn’t what drives this Redskins team; they make their money on the offensive side of the ball. Kirk Cousins is the perpetual franchise tag quarterback.Somehow, he keeps proving his worth for a long-term deal.  Unfortunately, he lost surehanded receiver Pierre Garcon and deep threat DeSean Jackson. Jamison Crowder and Terrelle Pryor aim to fill in.

Also, the dual threat of Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis will also spotlight a weakness last year for the Raiders. To combat the younger receiving crew and tightend threats, the Raiders will employ 3 new weapons of their own. First, two new members of the secondary in rookies Gareon Conley and Obi Melifonwu. Hopefully, they can bolster the backend. Also, assistant coach John Pagano, who has been tasked with getting the secondary in order. His presence is a welcome sight on a defense that needs to stay up with the offense if the team doesn’t want every game to be a shoot-out.

In summary, the Redskins lost a couple of key pieces of their receiving corps. However, Washington brought in some younger blood to replace them. In addition,  their secondary received an upgrade. The Raiders did the same this year as well as built on an already explosive offense. Under those consequences,  signs point to the Raiders winning. It will be closer than I’d like to admit as well as it being a road game across the country.

 

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