Last meeting: In 2011, the Patriots gave up 504 yards of offense yet still won 31-19. Wes Welker had 9 catches for 158 yards as the Pats moved to 3-1, en route to a season that would see them lose to the Giants in the Super Bowl. This was prime territory for a pass defense that couldn’t stop a nose bleed. Put it this way — Sergio Brown was the 5th leading tackler on the day.
Early Outlook: The Raiders are 0-2 after losses to the Jets and Texans. It’s the Patriots home opener, and with the Pats offense on the verge of breaking out, the Raiders should have their hands full. It will be hard to not to be overconfident heading into this one.
Notes: Old friend Justin Tuck is back, not that he’s the same player he once was, but it will be interesting seeing how he does against our new-look interior OL.
LB Miles Burris is the lowest ranked defender on the Raiders by PFF, and Andy Benoit of MMQB called him a “liability”. Expect the Pats to attack the weak link.
On paper the Raiders have some big names like Tuck, Carlos Rogers, Antonio Smith and Lamarr Woodley but all are in the red for PFF’s ratings.
PFF has Derek Carr under pressure 33 of 78 dropbacks.
I’d bet BB will be content to rush four. Between Ninkovich, Hightower and Chandler, they should generate pressure. And seven in coverage will likely force Carr into a couple interceptions.
The whole Tony Sparano of it all is slightly concerning because you know, he dropped that whole Wildcat bomb on us in 2008, but really the defense is fine to handle that gimmick now.
Happy it’s the home opener because I think that will help the Pats not look past the Raiders. Every NFL team is dangerous if you don’t take them seriously. Remember losing to the Cardinals in 2012?
Pats are on national TV back-to-back after this one against two pretty good teams. They really need to get the penalties fixed and the offense on track in this one.
If the Pats take more penalties than the Raiders in this one I will be concerned.