Can The Raiders Beat The Rams? Three Cases For And Against In Happening

The Rams are one of the dynamic teams in the NFL and not many are giving the Raiders much of a chance tonight. But because you’re looking for them, here are a few reasons to like the Raiders chances to win tonight… and a few reasons to not.

First, the bad news…

– Jon Gruden might think he knows what he has in his offensive tackles, but he doesn’t. Kolton Miller is going to have his hiccups as a rookie and Donald Penn is a wild card with his age, foot injury, and change of position. Gruden can shift protections and cover for a weak link along the offensive line, but if Penn and Miller both struggle, things could get ugly for Derek Carr in a hurry.

– Todd Gurley is an absolute monster in Sean McVay’s offense and the Raiders have to find a way to slow him down. Paul Guenther is one of the respected defensive coordinators in the league, but it was an unlucky draw to get the versatile Gurley in week one. Adding to the challenge, the Raiders will try to figure him out with five new faces among their starting front seven.

But there is a little good news coming on that.

– Injuries can be a roster killer, but so can trading away your best player and getting nothing in return for a full year. The Raiders don’t have any significant injuries, but they did trade away arguably the league’s best defensive player. That said, if the Raiders lay the whoop down on the Rams tonight, it’ll be much easier for everyone to move on.

Now the good news…

– Jon Gruden has been scheming his offense for 10 years. What surprises will he have in store for the aggressive Rams defense? If they can get into the right plays and execute, the Raiders should be able to match offensive firepower with the Rams (Carr should still be the better quarterback) for four quarters. Raider tight ends, by the way, will be running wild tonight. You heard it here first.

– Who cares if Khalil Mack is blowing around in Chicago? It’s the season opener at home… Gruden’s first regular season back with the team… under the lights on Monday night. The Raiders surely won’t lay an egg with all that in their favor. Oh, and ESPN better show a portion of Gruden’s pre-game pep talk.

– Don’t underestimate the significance of Greg Olson’s presence on the Raiders. He was with McVay last year and knows the Rams offense well. You can bet Guenther has been in communication with Olson, but also with his friend Mike Zimmer, who now coaches the Vikings. The Vikings run a similar defensive scheme to Guenther and it’s worth noting that Minnesota held the Rams to their lowest scoring output of the season in 2017 – a modest 7 points.

So come on, clock. Start moving along. Is it game time yet?

twitter: @raidersbeat