In their opening game of the season, the Raiders relied heavily on the run while barely acknowledging that passes were allowed in a football game. The Raiders ran the ball 39 times while amassing 190 yards. Meanwhile, they only threw the ball 22 times for 105 yards.
You cannot really blame the Raiders for their play calling in Denver. Since the Broncos showed that they could not stop the run, there was no reason to risk passing the ball. This weekend, however, the Raiders will likely need to pass the ball much more.
Last week, the Bills gave up 108 yards on the ground. That is not a dominant run defense, but its also not one springing massive leaks. The Chiefs had the best ground game in the NFL last season, lead by Jamaal Charles, who the Bills held to 56 yards. Keeping them to 108 as a team is not bad by any means.
The Bills had the worst rush defense in the league last season, but have worked hard to improve that in the off season and will be determined not to let Oakland treat their defense like the door mat it treated Denver’s like.
This, combined with the fact that Buffalo has a much better offense than Denver, means that Jason Campbell will need to do much more in the passing game than he did in week one. That is not going to be easy considering Buffalo had one of the better pass defenses in 2010.
Not only will Campbell need to prove himself against a good pass defense, he may need to do so with limited resources as the receiving corps is riddled with injury. Jacoby Ford had to leave week one with a hamstring issue, Louis Murphy is still out from an injury dating back to the preseason and Darrius Heyward-Bey who led Oakland receivers in week one (goes to show just how weak Oakland’s passing game in week one was) injured his knee in practice this week.
On the bright side, Oakland’s offensive line looked good in pass protection in week one, and the Raiders are lucky to have a lot of depth at the wide receiver position with Derek Hagan, Chaz Schilens and rookie Denarius Moore all ready to step in for the injured Raiders receivers.