Green Bay Packers: 3 Keys to Victory over Oakland

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - OCTOBER 14: Aaron Jones #33 and Jamaal Williams #30 of the Green Bay Packers celebrate the win against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field on October 14, 2019 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - OCTOBER 14: Aaron Jones #33 and Jamaal Williams #30 of the Green Bay Packers celebrate the win against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field on October 14, 2019 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

This weekend the Green Bay Packers take on the Oakland Raiders and if they are going to come away with another win, these are their three keys to doing so.

Coming off of their big Monday Night win over the Detroit Lions, the 5-1 Green Bay Packers will matchup this Sunday against the 3-2 Oakland Raiders who are coming off of their bye week.

For a number of years now, the Raiders have been a franchise that hasn’t posed much of a threat but this year appears to be different. While they do not have many high-profile names on their roster, second-year head coach Jon Gruden has them working as a cohesive unit and it is resulting in wins.

With Oakland coming off of two big victories over the Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago Bears, along with the aforementioned bye week, the Green Bay Packers better bring their “A” game and not get caught looking ahead to Kansas City next week. Otherwise, they could find themselves playing from behind for much of the game just as they did against the Lions.

If Green Bay is going to come away with another win and move to an impressive 6-1 on the season, these are going to be the three keys to doing so.

Tackle, Tackle, Tackle

The big play has been a killer the past two weeks for this Green Bay Packers’ defense but that isn’t exactly the Raiders M.O. When passing, Oakland runs mostly designed plays that get the ball out of Derek Carr’s hands quickly to players in open space. At that point, it is the receivers’ job to pick up as many yards after the catch as they can.

This season, Carr holds the ball for only 2.52 seconds on average before attempting the throw which is the fifth quickest in football. He also averages just 5.4 yards per pass attempt which is the shortest amongst all quarterbacks. This is going to make getting after Carr difficult for the Packers’ pass-rush and the secondary will have to play close to the line of scrimmage.

As a result of the quick passing game, wide receiver Darren Waller already has 203 yards after the catch this season, good for the 12th most in the NFL. And we all know how dynamic Trevor Davis and Josh Jacobs can be in the open field.

We’ve seen the Green Bay Packers struggle with tackling in the past and on Sunday, it is going to be crucial that all 11 Green Bay defenders swarm to the ball and limit Oakland’s yards after the catch opportunities.

Slow down Josh Jacobs

As good as the Green Bay Packers’ defense has been this season, the run defense has been quite suspect at times. Against Minnesota, they would give up 198 yards on the ground. The following week the Denver Broncos would rush for 149 yards. And then Philadelphia would total 176 rushing yards.

However, to their credit, they have been much better the last two weeks as they held Ezekiel Elliot to just 62 rushing yards and Lions’ running back Kerryon Johnson would average just 2.6 yards per carry. When defensive coordinator Mike Pettine can make opposing offenses one-dimensional, it allows the defensive front to pin their ears back and it gives Pettine the opportunity to dial-up some exotic blitzes. The results this season have been numerous sacks and some big-time turnovers as well.

Well this week is going to be another tough test as rookie Josh Jacobs and the stout Oakland offensive line come to town. Running backs may not carry the same value that they once did, but drafting Jacobs in the first round has been a home run for Oakland.

Jacobs is coming off of a game against a very good Chicago defense where he put up 123 yards on the ground with two touchdowns. He’s also averaging an impressive 4.9 yards per carry this season. The Packers might not truly stop Jacobs but they absolutely have to find a way to slow him down.

Establish the running game

As of now, Davante Adams’ status is unknown, Geronimo Allison is in concussion protocol, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling has also shown up on the injury report. For Matt LaFleur it is always important to establish the run but with the injuries and lack of experience at the receiver position, it will be a must to get Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams going on Sunday.

While the running game struggled early on this season, in the last two weeks Jones and Williams have each had a 100-yard game and the effects of their production on the ground have made things much easier for Aaron Rodgers in the passing game. In fact, without his star receiver, Rodgers’ performances against Dallas and Detroit may have been his best two of the year. And a big reason for that has been because of Jones and Williams.

Next. Packers should trade for Kenyan Drake. dark

With the current state of the receiving core, it is going to be vital that the offense can lean on their one-two punch at running back. That way Rodgers doesn’t have to shoulder all of the burden on offense as he has had to do in years past, while also opening things up for his young receivers.