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Oakland Preview: Giants Roundtable Week 5

If you didn’t catch the first part of the roundtable that broke down the game vs the Chiefs check it out here.

Now onto the Raiders preview.

My general opinion of the Raiders is this: they are a very very physically athletic team that has some very serious “team issues”. They are athletes not winners.

The problem with that is that this collection of great indiviual talent could suprise people once in awhile. The thing I don’t want to see happen is Eli sit and the Giants play a tough game.

What worries is me is the Raiders could have a VERY good defense with the right coaching. They have good cornerbacks, one good ball hawking safety, two preimer pass rushers (Seymour and Greg Ellis) and some players at linebacker (kirk Morrison is pretty good). I’m not sure David Carr could beat a good defense.

let’s break it down.

One of the big story lines is Steve Smith, statistically best WR in the league vs Nnamdi Asomugha, consensus best cornerback in the league. I turned to Andrew.

it is widely considered that Raiders CB Nnamdi Asomugha is the best Cover CB in the league…do you think he will be able to shut out Steve Smith?

You can’t shut out Steve Smith, particularly when he gets in the slot. That’s what I love about having 7 receivers to rotate around, different looks, lots of movement and trying different things, creating confusion, and there is lots of rotation and finding what works that day. But along with that there are certain tried and true things that Steve Smith does that you cannot shut down, my favorite being the quick slant. It has a high probability of success that keeps you in control of the game and its very difficult to defend against. The ball is out immediately and all you can do is try to make a tackle and contain the yardage you’re giving up. Steve Smith can rack up yardage off short passes over 60 minutes like that and before you know it, he has 10 receptions for an efficient 70 yards and a touchdown — there goes your game plan.

We’ll see. I think if Smith has to go up against Asomugha all game Smith won’t do much. Asomugha is very, very good. If Carr plays Smith could have a quiet day. I think what the Giants could do though is move Smith around and see if Asomugha stays with him and if Eli plays he’ll take advantage of all the opportunities they get.

 

Like I was saying about the Raiders they are very athletic. Not a great team, but a physically gifted team. I wondered if Mark thought the same thing.

The Raiders still have a lot of first round picks on their roster, one of the few on defense is Michael Huff who has 3 Interceptions this year. Has it finally clicked? (To those interested on offense since 2003 are Nnamdi Asomugha Robert Gallery, Fabian Washington, Michael Huff, JaMaruss Russel, Darren McFadden, and Darrius Heyward-Bey. Fabian Washington is the only one since 2003 to not still be on the roster )
I think it has clicked for Huff.  Some players just take a bit longer to get it.  Maybe playing with Asomugha has finally rubbed off.  In all seriousness Huff has been one of the bright spots on a dismal Raider team.
 
Agreed. This Defense is a good defense could be better with more discpline. I think the Giants will find a way to score enough points though.

  
 

The white elephant in the room for this game is whether or not Eli Manning will suit up. I asked Fuchs.

If David Carr has to play can he outplay JaMarcus Russel?
  Yes. I had been a fan of Russell’s heading into the season, but I’m not anymore. The Raiders fans that I know are so disgusted with his play, his apparent lack of work ethic. He has a strong arm, but so does Kyle Boller. A strong arm does not guarantee success in the NFL. As for Carr, he’s not pretty out there. He’s not a number one QB anymore. For one week, he can get the job done. That said, I don’t think he’ll have to play. 

I’ve never been a fan of Russell. At LSU, in the draft process, or with the Raiders. He’s awful.  Thank goodness for that. My hope is that after this game (hopefully a poor one) the Raiders resign Garcia and he finds a way to beat the Eagles or Cowboys.

I think the key match up in this game is the WR”s vs the Raiders secondary.  I don’t see much happening with the Raiders offense. let’s ask Andrew.

key-matchup in the game?
  
How about this for going out on a limb….. Shane Lechler VS Jeff Feagles. For some reason I see a lot of punting this game, maybe because I think Eli is not going to be himself with the injury nagging him and I think he will leave early in the game. Feagles is of course incredibly accurate at downing inside the 20 and will have a great game in the first half, but Lechler has a boot on him and will pin the Giants back in worse field position than they can overcome in the second half. That opens the door for the Raiders late in the game when David Carr perfects the art of dropping back for a sack near his own goal line. You might say that I expect a worse performance from the Giants then we have been seeing, but I sure hope I’m wrong.

 

 

 I was excited that Andrew brought this point up becuase I was thinking the same thing when I had asked Mark:

The Raiders have Great special team’s play at times… Do you think they’ll sneak a big play on Special teams?
 No the Giants have a great punt coverage team and Feagles’ punting just amazes me every week, that guy just continues to drop balls inside the 10 on a consistent basis.  The Raiders are only averaging 18.7 yards per kick return and 4.9 yards per punt return.  The Giants should be able to contain the return efforts of the Raiders

Johnnie Lee Higgins hasn’t had a big return yet this season…but he could. He had many last year.

The Raiders have a great punter and good defensive linemen so I asked Fuchs what were his impressions about the Raiders and how successful they have been at getting at the quarterback so far in this early season.

Former Cowboys OLB Greg Ellis now has 4 sacks with the Raiders…worried he’ll make a big impact in this game?
  The Giants didn’t struggle with DeMarcus Ware, so I can’t imagine they would with Ellis. Ellis is a good player, but if they get a tight end or an extra lineman to help out Diehl, they’ll be fine. 
What about former Patriot Richard Seymour?
  I was shocked the Pats traded him, to be honest. I get the financial part of it, but the way they did it, right before the year, was not right. He’s a good player. He adds a veteran presence to that team. I don’t know what kind of impact he’ll have, as the Giants have limited pass rushes so far.

Although the Giants have the best secondary in the league (#1 in overeall pass defense yards per game) the Raiders have some serious speed at WR. I was wondering if the Raiders might sneak a big play on the Giants this weekend.

They have a ton of Speed at WR, perhaps the most in the league. Any worries about their WR corps?
  Absolutely not, they may have speed but their quarterback is TERRIBLE.  Russell is just plain struggling and doesn’t seem to care about being a NFL quarterback.  Look for Russell to continue this trend and provide the Giants with inaccurate passes and interceptions.

Right on, Mark. JaMarcuss Russel is terrible. I can’t imagine coming into Giants stadium and being very effective at all.

I thought Darren McFadden might be a player of interest in this game before he went out injured. here’s what Andrew had to say about McFadden

the Giants struggled with Felix Jones cut back ability in the Cowboys game…do you think Darren McFadden could present a problem for us this upcoming week?

Yes and No. While the Giants have always had trouble containing shifty backs like DeAngelo Williams and Brian Westbrook, the problem has stemmed from the Linebackers over pursuing and getting caught out of position to stop the run as it develops. This year, Michael Boley has made up for miscues with his speed but that will sadly not be a factor this week due to his surgery. So the fundamentals that have been re-established since the Dallas game are going to be important — maintaining gap pressure and the discipline of not getting caught out of position that leaves the door open for a big play to develop. If the Giants are able to play that kind of a game, they will win on Sunday.
 
like I said Darren McFadden is injured, but Michael Bush the Raiders version of Brandon Jacobs. A big shifty Running back is not. Bush is averaging 4.0 yards per carry this year and could be O.K. in this game. Although former first round pick Robert Gallery, now an excellent OG, will be out for this game.
antyhing else to add?
Larry “Some of the” Tynes is starting to annoy me. He’s a good kicker, but his inconsistency is so frustrating. Coughlin hinted at bringing in another kicker. Would be shocked if they didn’t. 
I see the Giants winning this game but I think it will be closer than most think — the Raiders are capable of smothering your passing attack if they stay aggressive, I think the Giants get off to an early lead but let Oakland back in the game in the 4th quarter. 24-17 Giants
 
Final prediction of the Giants/Raiders game? 

Another easy win for the Giants even with Manning dinged up, Giants 27 Raiders 10 

The Raiders are not a good team, plain and simple. This could be a fun game for Giants fans to watch. Final score: Giants 28, Raiders 10

It really depends on whether Eli Manning plays this game or not, and how long he plays for. This trend of taking him out in the 4th quarter even when healthy doesnt bode well for a scenario where he’s injured. I think the Raiders are capable of hanging with a high powered offense – they nearly beat the Chargers weeks ago and I stayed up and watched that game and was really impressed. Losing that game when they had Phillip Rivers’ number took the wind out of their sails… but they might hope to get it back this weekend in NY.

I expect a better matchup than most with physical defense being the main factor: 24 – 17 Giants.

I don’t see the Giants score a lot of poitns if Eli doesn’t play, but I dont’ see the Raiders scoring a lot either way.

 

If Eli Plays 24-7 Giants.
If Eli doesn’t play 17-10 Giants.

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