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Week 4: Visit to the Black Hole

Jerome Davis Icon SMI

 

The Patriots have another intriguing matchup in week 4 as they’ll travel to Oakland to take on the 2-1 Raiders. This game will be a battle between the number one passing team in the NFL and the number one rushing team in the NFL. Typically you would like to be on a team with a better running game than a passing game but when you have an efficient quarterback like Tom Brady on your team, you have to think twice.

Of course it does, has, and can happen again, but rarely do the Patriots lose two games in a row. The Bills were determined to get respect in AFC East and they had to snap a 15 game losing streak against the Patriots last week but they also had the formula to do so. The Bills have been averaging the most points in the league this year which is about a touchdown more than the Raiders have been averaging a game, and against the Patriots, as impressive as the Raiders have been in 2011, every point counts.

Can the Raiders manage the clock all game? I know it sounds strange but Darren McFadden’s ability to hit a homerun ball may not be what the Raiders are looking for on offense this week against a team that knows how to move the chains all day. The last thing the Raiders want is for Tom Brady to be comfortable for 4 quarters.

It is true that the Patriots are the last in the league with yards allowed per game but most teams were playing from behind or were just trying to keep up with the Patriots and their ridiculous offense this season. Besides, the Raiders are not too far behind the Patriots with yards allowed to their opponents per game (28th in league) and do you really have faith in Jason Campbell to sling the ball around all game? I hope the Raiders don’t plan on kicking 65 yard field goals all game neither. Darren McFadden had 171 rushing last week to Campbell’s 156 yards passing……..that should be a problem if they have a similar game plan against the Patriots this week, but we shall see.

 Let’s not take credit away from the Raiders because we all know that is a recipe for disaster but the Raiders don’t have enough going for them on either side of the ball to keep up with the Patriots this week and Tom Brady isn’t going to throw 4 interceptions this week, Campbell just may. The Patriots desperately need Patrick Chung and Albert Haynesworth back but not necessarily for this one.  I like the Patriots to beat the Raiders, 41-30.

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