Who’s ready for Week 9? This season is rolling by so fast that before we know it will be over. That’s why you gotta hope the Lions can squeak their way into the playoffs so we can still be watching in January. They’re going to have to start by getting on the right side of .500 first with a win over the Oakland, Los Angeles, Oakland again, Las Vegas Raiders.
The Raiders are a weird team this year. I’m having a hard time telling if they’re good or not. So we enlisted the help of our pal Evan Groat from Silver And Black Pride to give us all the answers on the the team from The Bay.
But first, let me tell you what I know about this team. It isn’t much. I know two things. I know my step dad was invited to work out for the Raiders in 1984. Unfortunately, he didn’t make the team, but he always regaled us with the story about the time he helped Howie Long, Lyle Alzado and a few other Raiders flip a man’s car over in the parking lot of a nightclub after another patron ran his mouth towards them.
I also know that the Lions are exactly 6-6 against the Raiders. Only two of those wins happened in Oakland. The good news is that the Raiders haven’t beaten the Lions since Val Kilmer was Batman and Celine Dion released an ultimate banger. You know, the song you sing your heart out to in the car, but turn down the volume when you get to the stop light. You know the jam.
Alright, now that the tears in your eyes are gone, let’s talk with Evan about this game.
The Raiders are an interesting team that I think is sneaky good. What’s holding them back?
“For the Raiders it’s been an issue of not putting together a complete 60 minutes of football. They have shown the ability to be competitive against some of the better teams in the league but have not been able to sustain a high level of play for four quarters. They have also dealt with their share of injuries to the linebacker position which has been an issue. They were thin at linebacker heading into the season and then lost Marquel Lee to IR and the 12-game suspension to Vontaze Burfict. Former Lions linebacker, Tahir Whitehead came out of last week’s game a little banged up and is listed on the injury report as limited in practice. The Raiders signed two free agent linebacker this week to help shore up the position.”
What worries you about the Lions?
“What worries me about the Detroit Lions is their passing attack with Matthew Stafford throwing to Golladay, Jones, and Amendola. The Raiders defense has been giving up big yards through the air, 285 yards per game which ranks them 30th in the league. Rookie CB Trayvon Mullen will be making his second career start, and although he looked good last week, he is still a rookie. The pass rush, or lack thereof has not done the secondary any favors. One thing the Raiders have going for them is the Lions are ranked 32nd in passing yards allowed so this one has the potential to be a high scoring game.”
Former Raider Howie Long was once the lead in an action movie called Firestorm. Which current Raider do you think would be good or really bad in an action movie and why?
“The current Raider who would be great in an action movie would be rookie defensive end, Maxx Crosby. Crosby plays with confidence and swag. He has a relentless motor, not to mention he looks like a complete BAD A** with tattoos all over both arms, and oh yeah his nickname is “Mad” Maxx Crosby.”
Who’s the under the radar player the Lions should be concerned about?
“Hunter Renfrow is the player the Lions should be concerned about heading into this week’s game. Last week he caught four passes for 88 yards including a 65-yard touchdown. I think the focus for the Lions defense will be on shutting down RB Josh Jacobs, WR Tyrell Williams, TE Darren Waller, and Renfrow could benefit.”
Who’s winning this thing?
“Coming off a stretch of five consecutive road games I think the Raiders come home and play inspired football in front of the home crowd. I think it will be a high scoring game, back and forth game, but in the end I think the Raiders pull it off. Final score of 31-27.”