Packers XLV

Pack's Offense Should Keep On Rollin' in Oakland

Posted December 18th, 2015 @ 06:12pm

One thing we know about the NFL: everything can change from one week to the next. I think we all feel a lot more comfortable about the state of the Pack's offense than we did last week at this time.

As we head into the Oakland game, we know that the Pack is in kind of a strange spot. They can lose these next two road games and still lock up the #3 seed if they beat the Vikings in week 17. They also know that they are a Sunday night win by Philly away from potentially playing for the #2 seed and a bye next weekend in Arizona.

So there is still something significant to play for this week, not to mention trying to build on last week's strong defensive effort and resurgent commitment to the running game. It looked like the Pack might get the Raiders at the perfect time: coming off a game in Denver, which looked like their eighth loss of the season and out of the playoff hunt. But Oakland's surprising win kept them on the fringe of the AFC race and they'll be playing as if their season depends on it.

Khalil Mack singlehandedly destroyed the Broncos with five sacks and had Bronco fans suddenly hoping for a healthy Peyton Manning to lead them in the playoffs. A banged up Bryan Bulaga will have his hands full with Mack, who's quickly becoming one of the best edge rushers in the league. Once again the Pack will likely commit to the run to keep the pass rush honest--the Raiders 24th in yards given up and 22nd in points against. They still need several pieces on that side of the ball to reach the next level.

Their defense is led by the ageless Charles Woodson, who will earn his 10th Pro Bowl spot this season and continues to play at a Hall of Fame level, despite the fact that he'll turn 40 in the next year. He has eight takeaways this season and will play with extra juice against the team that cut him three years ago. It was absolutely the right call at the time by Ted Thompson, but Woodson found a taker and he's proven he still belongs on the field.

The Packers' defense will face a young QB who is looking like the best arm in his draft, despite being a second round pick. Derek Carr has taken a big step in his second season--the Raiders finally have a franchise quarterback to build around. They started by drafting WR Amari Cooper with last year's first pick. He's lived up to the hype, but is dealing with a foot injury which caused him to be shut out in Denver. He won't be 100% for this one--a good thing, since the Pack will be without Sam Shields (concussion). Michael Crabtree was a shrewd signing by Reggie McKenzie. He's been as productive as he's ever been, with Carr.

The Raiders also have a tough back in Latavius Murray, giving them a balanced, if unspectacular offense. They couldn't find the end zone in Denver, but moved the ball enough against that stout defense to stay in the game and do just enough to get the win. That victory should get the Pack's attention, in light of what happened to them when they played in Denver.

The Pack will be without Ty Montgomery once again. We'll wait to hear the status on Josh Sitton, who didn't practice all week as he deals with a back injury. The guess is he'll be listed as questionable and will start. There is also uncertainty at center, but otherwise the offense is pretty much intact. We'll keep an eye on Davante Adams, who showed up on Thursday's injury report with a foot injury.

The offense definitely had a different look with Mike McCarthy calling the shots, with the number of run plays as well as screens and inventive ways to keep Randall Cobb involved. The Packers should be able to move the ball and score on the Raiders, provided that they find a way to keep Mack at bay. The Raiders rank 29th against the pass and Rodgers is playing across the Bay from his boyhood home, so he'll be extra eager to put on a show.

This has been a solid road team late in the season, and though it's only the team's third ever visit to Oakland, the Packers have owned this series, winning the last six times. And the Pack is 10-2 in California since 1990, with McCarthy 3-1 in the Golden State.

The Pack found its mojo last week and they keep it rolling in Oakland.

Packers 24  Raiders 17

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Comments (5):

What I took away from the Denver/Oakland game: Score touchdowns. That game could have easily gone either way if it had not have been a kicking tournament. Let's see more of the same and we'll keep the pressure on the rest of the field.

on December 18th, 2015 at 02:07pm

Is the Packer game going to be on FOX in the Twin Cities? I think it is being blacked out for some reason. My TiVo has Vikings post game stuff listed.

on December 18th, 2015 at 02:54pm

Pack offense should keep rolling until K Mack goes Charles Martin on Rodgers.

on December 18th, 2015 at 03:17pm

Dave, You say the Offense should keep rolling??? the run game was rolling, that's it. cobb had 81 yds on 8 catches, adams, rodgers and jones had 64 yds on 7 catches combined. they are still not clicking on passing O. and I'm worried. so many injuries in OL has not helped. I asked for for more screen passes and they have done that. But still need more bunched receivers on 1 side, crossing routes and receiver screens. If bulaga needs help on mack to give 12 more time, , we need to, but then you lose another receiver. Denver got 21 yds running last week, and Oakland is 12th against the run. so we will need to pass. If we can throw for 250 yds, with no picks, and run for 100 we win, if mack and company gets 4 or more sacks and keeps pressure on Rodgers,,we Lose. I think Oakland is full of confidence, and we lose 23-20, Again, prove me wrong Pack, Go Packers

on December 19th, 2015 at 01:48pm

Well Larry, your not wrong...entirely. Oakland isn't a bad team and if they play really well they can win a game at home. So yeah ,it's an away game. It's a west coast game. it's an afc match up. I guess I tend to be more optimistic. Dallas was suppose to be a top ten defense and we moved the ball at will. I trust our dbs even without Shields. I think they might even get a pick Sunday. I also expect you see a game plan for Mack, like Kuhn. It's December and it's time play real football. Let's talk 28 - 17 Packers . This may or may not be a championship caliber team, but it is a good team. Let's ROLL!

on December 19th, 2015 at 08:36pm

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