When the Giants stroll into O.co Sunday, they will look across the field and see an Oakland Raiders team in flux. While the Raiders scuffled to arrive at 5-6, the team above them in the AFC West failed to secure the division. Eventually, someone needs to win this division, why not Oakland? The industrial strength dumpster fire, known as the Giants continue to struggle. Their franchise quarterback, arguably the best passer in franchise history serves as a back to Geno Smith. Allow that to marinate for a minute: Eli Manning is Geno Smith’s backup. A future Hall of Famer relegated to holding a clipboard for a player, chin-checked by a teammate over money. Through all of the drama, the Oakland Raiders have no excuse in this game. For the first time since Week Two, Oakland should actually dominate a game. Anything other than a win is a catastrophe.
Leaky Offensive Line
The Giants could employ the shakiest offensive line in the NFL. Defenders routinely beat left tackle Ereck Flowers to the outside. Flowers lacks the kick step and slide to stop oncoming rushers. Whoever lines up on that side, usually Irvin will enjoy a banner day. Considering New York picked him ninth overall in 2015, the Raiders will take the field with the perimeter advantage. If New York chips with a tight end, that job falls to rookie Evan Engram. Engram, a dynamic athlete, will not scare anyone with his blocking. On the other side, Bobby Hart meets up with Khalil Mack. Hart plays with a bit more confidence than Flowers, but facing a dominant pass rusher gives anyone fits.
Given these points, the Raiders defense, under John Pagano can afford to send just four. Provided that the interior of the defensive line generates any push. Treyvon Hester plays with a bit more burst than Vanderdoes, yet sees fewer snaps. In that case, the change in coordinators could lead to a lineup shift as well.
Although the defensive line, except for Mack, fails to play with sustained production, the Giants’ offensive line is a perfect fit. For Mario Edwards, this game, could serve as the breakout game to embolden RaiderNation hopes. Three-and-a-half sacks , considering the number of snaps (423) should worry most fans. Without a doubt, Edwards display the occasional flash, but his motor does not always rev at a high level. Facing subpar tackles on a losing team sounds like a recipe for success.
In the final analysis, the Raiders defensive line could both win and lose this game. If they allow the Giants to find a rhythm, mixing the pass with effect running from Orleans Darkwa, they wheels could fall off. By benching Eli Manning and rotating in Geno Smith and Davis Webb, the Giants gave up on the 2017 season. For this reason alone, the Oakland Raiders cannot leave the stadium without a victory.