Each week Coltzilla will preview the upcoming game by speaking with fellow bloggers or writers who cover the week’s opponent. This week Coltzilla speaks with Raymond Martin, lead blogger at www.silverandblackpride.com on SBN, to get a Raiders perspective on the Colts game Sunday afternoon.
CZ: To me the strength of your team this year is the run game. And I don’t think the Colts will shut your runners down however I am unsure what to expect from them? What do you see them being able to do because although we have struggled against the run before last game we normally do well against guys like CJ who McFadden reminds me of somewhat?
RM: Thank you for taking the time to ask me these questions. As it pertains to the running game in Oakland, there is one thing that you can be sure of, when healthy, Darren McFadden has been the best running back in football. He had a couple of bad games when he was nursing his hammy, but, since being 90%, he has been on a tear again.
The comparisons between Chris Johnson and Darren McFadden are quite similar, except for the fact that football moves that that each possesses are different. I see CJ as more of a Barry Sanders type, whereas Darren has reminded me more of Marcus Allen. Either way, they are both talented backs, and I am sure that McFadden is proud to be in such a class.
Michael Bush has been limited to 4.0 yards a carry this year, but is very adept at leaning his frame forward for the tough yards.
If you are having as much trouble against the run as I have been reading about, then it will be a bruising day for the Colt defense in Oakland.
CZ: Watching many of the Raiders myself living in Cal. I feel like not only is the QB situation shaky but the O-line isn’t that good particularly in the pass game. The problem is its hard to separate what is the QB and not. What is your thought on it? What do you think we can expect from our Pass rush against your O- line?
RM: You have absolutely found the weakness on this team. Pass Blocking. The numbers look better this year than in past years. Some of that can be attributed to Jared Veldheer, the D II Rookie from Hillsdale that has shown to be a solid starting LT, but, most of that is because immobile JaMarcus Russell has been replaced by a rather resourceful Jason Campbell.
The Raider O-Line is HUGE, so faster guys stand a better chance at getting to Campbell than some of the bigger guys in the League and because of the the Colts may be able to get something going if the Raiders are forced to go to the air.
CZ: Although Al Davis has always taken heat (last 5-10 years) Cable hasn’t been that liked either it seems until this year. Do you attribute this to the gained success they are having this year or do you and fans feel he is a good coach?
RM: I am torn over Cable as well. I think that difference makers have been quite clear. Those are Mike Waufle and Hue Jackson. Cable no longer has to manage the play calling, offensive line and the team as a whole. Jackson has been calling the plays and Waufle has turned the D-Line into one of the best in the NFL, just as he did in New York for the Super Bowl Winning Giants.
With that being said, Cable has only had to manage the game and be a strong figurehead. I think that he has scored a D in the game management area, but an A as a figurehead. Cable has this team and if he allows his assistants to do their jobs, he will most likely save his and get an extension.
CZ: Who is the one guy on your team that is not talked about that you think could make a big impact? Expect to make an impact?
RM: Marcell Reece has been the silent killer all season. Whether it is making a key block or sneaking under the defense for long scoring plays. If there is an unsung hero on this team, it would have to be Marcell Reece. He is also my secret weapon on Sunday.
CZ: To end this segment I’d like to hear your prediction for this matchup. Also what are the keys in order for you to win if you believe you will? Anything else you feel we need to know or watch for going into this game?
RM: If Rolando McClain and Nnamdi Asomugha play, then I expect the Raiders to win by 4. If they don’t I think that the Colts will win by 10. Defense will be the key to this game. If the Raiders can stop Manning they will win. If Manning goes off, then I just don’t believe that the Raiders have the scoring power to keep up.
I would also look out for Jacoby Ford. He has pretty good hands for a speed burner and is a threat to score any time he touches the ball. Don’t be surprised to see him used on a lot of end arounds and deep play action passes.
Both of these teams are playing for their play-off lives, so it should be a great game. Good Luck…Just not THAT much!
Coltzilla would like to thank Raymond for taking the time to answer questions. To learn more about the Raiders, visit www.silverandblackpride.com and read Raymond and his staff’s work.