Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Coming off a bye week, the Giants will catch a physically and mentally battered Raiders team at the Meadowlands. Oakland hasn’t shown abundant signs of promise on the road, but home wins over San Diego and Pittsburgh demonstrate their ability to rise to the occasion. There are dangerous athletes on the roster:
Quarterback Terrelle Pryor left Sunday’s game in the fourth quarter of a 49-13 drubbing, but his removal was termed “precautionary”. He is currently being called “day to day” and should be ready to go against the Giants. He brings truly elite running skills to the quarterback position. At 6’6 235 he’s a chore to bring to the ground, yet he still possesses the speed to take it the distance from anywhere on the field – look no further than his 93-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage versus Pittsburgh. His running splits look like this: 25 scrambles for 236 yards, 29 designed runs for 257 yards, and he’s accumulated 124 yards after first contact. Where Pryor struggles is diagnosing coverage, particularly when under pressure. He’s posted a 53.2 QBR when facing heat and been sacked 25 times, which is a huge number for a mobile quarterback. Disciplined pressure from the front four will be essential. Linemen must stay in their gaps or he’ll break off chunk gains in scramble mode.
Assuming Darren McFadden sits after re-aggravating a hamstring injury (a more than fair assumption), Rashad Jennings will inherit primary ball carrying duties. Jennings is a bruising back at 231 pounds with a past history of success, but he lacks the big play ability of a “Run DMC”. He ran for 102 yards on 15 carries this past Sunday against Philadelphia, albeit, the Eagles were in hyper-conservative mode with a huge lead. In the two games that Jennings has received major reps, he’s been a prolific weapon catching the football. He caught all eight of his targets for 71 yards on September 29th versus San Diego, and also hauled in seven of eight targets for 87 yards last week. He’s a patient runner that allows his blocks to setup in the screen game. Jennings will be Pryor’s security blanket more often than not.
While wideout Denarius Moore has been an inconsistent producer, he flashes the talent to wreck a game with the deep ball. Moore has 17 receptions 20+ yards downfield since entering the league in 2011, and he has TD grabs of 73 and 39 yards this season. It’s taken some time, but he has developed into a fearsome vertical threat. You can’t teach 4.45 speed and freakish hops. The rest of the Oakland receiving corps doesn’t afford him much free space to roam. Hyped up second-year (undrafted FA) Rod Streater has failed to get open with regularity.
* Premium statistics provided by Pro Football Focus *