Packers at Raiders: Gameday Preview - 2023 Week 5

The Packers go on the road to Las Vegas and face one of the worst teams in the league tonight. But, the Packers didn't look so great in their last game, either - can they right the ship?

The last time the Packers played the Raiders was in 2019, when they blew them out 42-24 behind a 5 touchdown performance from Aaron Rodgers. It was the Packers 8th straight win over the Raiders, who have not beat Green Bay since 1987.

That's an impressive streak, but it means nothing tonight.

 

WHEN THE PACKERS HAVE THE BALL

The last time we saw the Packers offense, they were racking up 27 yards rushing in their first multi-turnover game of the season, a thorough spanking at the hands of the Lions.

Despite getting back Aaron Jones and Christian Watson, Green Bay's offense was largely impotent the entire contest. This reinforces the fact that blocking is more important than skill position players.

Unfortunately, the Packers blocking stunk.

Losing David Bakhtiari to IR hurts. He's still one of the best in the game when he plays, capable of neutralizing the top pass rushers in the league. The Packers depth at tackle allowed them to weather that storm, but losing Elgton Jenkins has really ruined the whole works.

Rasheed Walker is still a developing left tackle and looked much more competent with an All Pro level talent next to him at left guard. Jenkins's replacement, Royce Newman, has been abysmal in his own right, but his shortcomings have made things harder on Walker. In the middle of the line, center Josh Myers has been inconsistent, but Newman next to him, he looks downright bad.

On the whole, the offensive line was a wreck. Pass rushers had a field day and running holes were nonexistent.

While David Bakhtiari won't be back anytime soon (if ever), Jenkins returned to practice this week and is expected to play. The Packers will need better blocking if they want to accomplish anything tonight.

The Raiders defense, led by pass rusher Maxx Crosby, is a solid, if underwhelming, unit.

Crosby absolutely must be accounted for if the Packers are going to move the ball. He can make things really hard if the offensive line plays like they did last week. Double him, chip him (but not with Luke Musgrave), do whatever you have to do to slow him down.

The Raiders rank 13th in passing yardage surrendered, and 18th in rushing yards per carry given up. Those aren't eye-popping numbers, but the Packers are going to need to block if they want to win.

Forget cute route combinations, don't worry about who is getting the most rushing attempts - just block.

If the Packers can clean up their blocking, the offense will move the ball.

 

WHEN THE PACKERS ARE ON DEFENSE

The Packers run defense has been abysmal all year. They've struggled to stop good backs and they've struggled to stop average backs. Last week, they gave up 211 yards on the ground to Lions. That comes just two weeks after they gave up 211 yards to the Falcons.

Raiders running back Josh Jacobs led the league in rushing last season and had 24 more 1st downs than any other running back.

He's off to a slower start this year, but he is a very talented back. The Packers absolutely have to have a defensive game plan centered around him to keep the Raiders offense in check.

That should be a little easier as Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (who leads the NFL with 6 interceptions) and premier wide receiver Davante Adams (he's pretty good - maybe you've heard of him) are both dealing with injuries. Garoppolo missed practice this week after sustaining a concussion two weeks ago. He cleared protocol and is slated to start, but may be rusty after a week off. Adams is still nursing a painful shoulder injury and only practiced on Friday and even that was in a limited capacity - he is listed as questionable, but is expected to play.

Garoppolo and Adams will probably both play, but after not practicing together much for two weeks, they may not be dialed in. This is still a new pairing and they have not established a lot of chemistry yet. Jaire Alexander is dealing with a back injury, but is also expected to play. If Adams plays and Jaire isn't running with him at full speed, the Packers coverage will have to depend on their pass rush to hit home.

The good news there is the Raiders have a terrible offensive line that gave up 6 sacks to Khalil Mack last week. Not prime Khalil Mack, but 32-year old Chargers edition Khalil Mack.

The Packers have built nice pass rush depth, but no one has really taken over except Rashan Gary. Gary ranks 11th in the NFL in sacks, despite playing just 26% of the team's defensive snaps as he returns from an ACL tear,

He might not need to tax himself tonight if the Packers play this right. The Packers auxiliary rushers like Devonte Wyatt and Lukas Van Ness should be able to make an impact tonight.

The Raiders offense is a mess. The Packers should be able to get sacks and interceptions tonight, but need to stop Josh Jacobs.

That's it: stop Josh Jacobs. A defensive game plan as simple as the offensive game plan. 

 

OTHER NOTES

The Raiders are dead last in the league with a -9 turnover differential.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

The Raiders are a bad team.

Real bad.

And injuries aren't helping them.

Their offense is bad, their defense is bad, their coaching is a league-wide joke.

They squeaked by the Broncos (the Broncos) by 1 point and lost all their other games, including to the disarrayed Steelers.

There is no reason for the Packers to lose this game. I don't care if Royce Newman shifts to left tackle and AJ Dillon gets every carry, there is no way the Packers should lose this game.

This season is more about developing young talent than winning a bunch of games, but if they lose this one, we'll have a lot of questions about the young talent and the coaching.

I just can't see that happening. The Packers are climbing back over .500 tonight.

 

Packers 27, Raiders 10

 

 

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__________________________

Bruce Irons has played, coached, and studied football for decades. Best-selling author of books such as A Fan's Guide To Understanding The NFL Draft, A Fan's Guide To Understanding The NFL Salary Cap, and A Fan's Guide To NFL Free Agency Hits And Misses, Bruce contributes to CheeseHeadTV and PackersForTheWin.com.

Follow Bruce Irons on Twitter at @BruceIronsNFL.

__________________________

6 points
 

Comments (31)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
LambeauPlain's picture

October 09, 2023 at 12:17 pm

Good to have Jenks back. I'd enjoy seeing Tom next to him and Runyan next to Tom and Nijman.

5 points
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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

October 09, 2023 at 05:15 pm

#MeToo

Lol

Not sure if they've had time to practice that switch, or if Tom and JRJ are 100%. Last season it was perfectly obvious that we can't run behind Myers and JRJ. I would have thought they would have figured out which is the weak link during TC at the latest and am very disappointed they didn't, but this is the same staff that brought back Amari Rodgers as a returner last season when it was perfectly obvious in 2021 that he's not a returner.

Exactly who is "the best five" is not something I don't know, but with Jenkins Tom and JRJ all healthy, Myers at C is a liability to our running game. Walker Mt Caleb and Nijman all at LT isn't a good idea, one of them should be practicing at RT.

2 points
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T7Steve's picture

October 09, 2023 at 12:19 pm

Do the Raiders put on a running clinic tonight after watching team after team shred the Packers run defense?

Why would they try anything else when at home, till the Packers show some stopping ability?

I didn't think I'd be saying that the Packers offense needs to help them out this early in the season when it should be the other way around.

4 points
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HarryHodag's picture

October 09, 2023 at 12:43 pm

I threw a little dirt into the gears at the Milwaukee J-S when I chastised the reporter for not mentioning the Packers running game in his preview. The reality is the Packers need to run the ball often to keep the Raiders offense off the field and wear down the defense. If Matt LF gets pass-happy there's a real possibility they will lose.
This is a bit of a watershed game for the Packers. They need to stop a good running attack but also put up yards on the ground. This is a game they can't afford to lose. No one is suggesting the playoffs with this team, but they need to keep improving and a loss tonight followed by the bye week only will make it more difficult to build for the future.

4 points
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Coldworld's picture

October 09, 2023 at 01:20 pm

These teams are quite similar in many ways in terms of what they have and haven’t done, particularly with respect to the OL and running game and their performance against the run.

The Raiders have had issues with turnovers at QB and elsewhere and aren’t as good at CB. If Jimmy G plays, they’ve really only had the short and short medium ball option. They’ve struggled to keep him protected, he’s not mobile. They do have Adams, but Jacobs may be their next biggest threat pass catching.

It’s a question of 2 battles I think. Who best protects their QB and who can help that and time of possession by running the ball best. I think our receiving depth is greater than theirs, but theirs is obviously the best WR. I think our pass D is better than theirs but that their O will defy the short middle, which is our weakness. Their rush is essentially one very, very good guy. Gary is also very good, but we need more from others tonight.

If a RB and his OL can assert itself, that will go a long way to winning this. It’s likely to be as much a battle of coaching in terms of personnel choices and usage and tactics as anything. Unless one player grabs this game, or throws it away. Can LaFleur & co. Out think and prepare the home team?

3 points
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T7Steve's picture

October 09, 2023 at 01:41 pm

"Can LaFleur & co. Out think and prepare the home team?"

It's his 5th season in GB, and we still have to ask that question?

Worse, my answer is still, I think so?

0 points
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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

October 09, 2023 at 05:22 pm

I'm not sure any of our coaching staff could beat my Sister.

I'll believe it when I see it. I think this is a VERY winnable game, but Te and their RB need to be at least held in check by our D and preferably erased, and if we can't run against this team we can't run against anybody. If we're truly one dimensional that doesn't give our passing attack any chance to develop.

0 points
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SinceLombardi's picture

October 09, 2023 at 07:12 pm

I think that there are some NFC wildcard berths that are extremely attainable. You don’t have to be a good team per se.
Good coaching can always account for a win or two.. and there in lies out problem.

0 points
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Fubared's picture

October 09, 2023 at 10:25 pm

Pass happy? I think that boat sailed years ago. LeFlower is a run run run guy. Besides I think privately via practice, I dont think they have faith in Love. I think they know exactly what they have in him and run run run will help him from having to pass a lot. They dont want him passing a lot.

0 points
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Lphill's picture

October 09, 2023 at 02:08 pm

Did Barry get the memo , 2 down lineman does not stop the run?

7 points
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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

October 09, 2023 at 05:22 pm

He'll try one tonight, WCGW?

1 points
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fireball's picture

October 09, 2023 at 02:14 pm

I said it earlier that I have no faith, yet, that the Packers are capable of beating the Raiders, a " real bad " team. Gotta prove it to me, first.

4 points
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Leatherhead's picture

October 09, 2023 at 02:55 pm

We should win this. We've been to the rodeo a couple of times and this team should score early and often, IMO. When Jenkins returns it helps. Tom is our RT, and Runyan is our RG, and they've practiced and played together enough that it should look like it. Walker will still probably need help.

I found out a few minutes ago that Aaron Jones is probably going to be a 'no-go'. He's only the biggest part of our offense. He gets more touches, yards, etc. than anybody else in the offense. Not a simple thing to replace.

IMO, you bring in the rookie and give him half of Jones' opportunities, and you throw to Watson-Doubs-Reed more. Let Dillon be Dillon for a couple of series. Most importantly, keep the chains moving. The Packers have to stop beating themselves and focus on actually moving the chains. We're last in the NFL in first downs.

1 points
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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

October 09, 2023 at 05:24 pm

I'd like to see #31 Wilson get more touches, yes. Do we know if Tom and JRJ are 100%?

2 points
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Leatherhead's picture

October 09, 2023 at 06:39 pm

They should both be active, although Runyan is injured. Tom seems to be good enough to play and take care of himself.

Jones is irreplaceable, IMO. Dillon is always available for practice and games and doesn't turn it over and he's still on a rookie contract, but he's not a lead dog type. His snaps are fine, but we're talking about replacing the 45 or more snaps Jones gets. as well as his touches.

I'd like to see Wilson break some tackles and make some runs. He looked pretty sharp in preseason. I'd also like to see Love on some planned runs, where he can slide and everything, just so that teams remember he can run.

1 points
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Packerpasty's picture

October 09, 2023 at 05:58 pm

it would be nice if Dillon would return to the form that had everyone so excited for him...dont know whats up with him but its not good...this is Taylors big chance, give him the ball...

1 points
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TxFred's picture

October 09, 2023 at 03:06 pm

Really need to see good improvement in run blocking. Even against this weaker team, GOOD development in basic fundament run blocking techniques AND open holes. Even with a win, and no improved run blocking it is going to be bad. Almost guaranteed the next ass kicking & mouth smashing team they meet and they will, they'll get their heads handed to them again in a very embarrassing way. MLF has got to move this team beyond passive, non-aggressive football.

1 points
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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

October 09, 2023 at 05:26 pm

It would be nice if this game was about like a practice, or a preseason game. I'm not sure they'll take it that easy on us ...

1 points
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Since'61's picture

October 09, 2023 at 03:35 pm

It always comes down to winning the LOS on both sides of the ball. With Jenkins return the Packers should win the LOS on offense. On defense if the Packers continue with 2 DLs I'm not confident that they can win the LOS on defense. They needs to stop Jacobs as the author has correctly pointed out. Do what is necessary to stop him and force the Raiders to be one dimensional. Do that and the Packers pass rush can force hurries, poor throws and get sacks.

The Packers should win this game if they don't beat themselves with penalties, mental errors and/or turnovers. This is a good game to clean up on the mental error and penalties. Solid OL play should mitigate turnovers. The Packers need to be ready to play because the Raiders are not going to want to fall to 1-4. They need to be ready to take the Raiders best shots early. Having said that the Packers have the better roster especially if Jones, Watson and Alexander are ready to go. Go Pack Go! Packers 26-16. Thanks, Since '61

4 points
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Leatherhead's picture

October 09, 2023 at 03:56 pm

"""The Packers should win this game if they don't beat themselves with penalties, mental errors and/or turnovers""

That's been my mantra for decades with the Packers. Most games are not won, they are lost, and they are lost by people not doing the simple things correctly. On offense, we have most of our guys and most of them aren't rookies. Just get some first downs. Move the ball a little.

I'm uncharacteristically excited about tonight's game, and really, the entire month of October. This could be a real nice stretch.

2 points
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Since'61's picture

October 09, 2023 at 05:21 pm

LH - I agree. This could be a very good stretch for the Packers. Raiders, Bye Week, Broncos on the road followed by the Vikes and Rams at home. These 4 games are an excellent opportunity for the Packers to get healthy, get on track, stack successes and build confidence for the second half of the season. No excuses, get it done. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

1 points
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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

October 09, 2023 at 05:27 pm

No #33.

This should still be a winnable game, but there needs to be a viable game plan

GPG!

2 points
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MooPack's picture

October 09, 2023 at 04:02 pm

They signed RB Patrick Taylor to the active roster from the practice squad, elevated CB Corey Ballentine from the practice squad to the active roster for gameday and released LB Justin Hollins.

Jones not ready and is inactive. JA needs some insurance, Stokes not ready. LVN is going to get more play time. Hopefully also time on the inside where he was lined up at Iowa in situations.

3 points
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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

October 09, 2023 at 05:29 pm

Hollins has been solid, I'm surprised he's released. I wonder what Gutey's up to ...

2 points
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MainePackFan's picture

October 09, 2023 at 06:05 pm

Didn't they have to create a spot for Taylor? Not sure how that works but he's been elevated 3 times.

0 points
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Tundraboy's picture

October 09, 2023 at 05:35 pm

I wonder which 2 RBs they will use today. And how much.

0 points
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Packerpasty's picture

October 09, 2023 at 05:56 pm

Dont count on Jones or Watson being healthy much this year...hammy's dont heal up easily and they injure again very easily...it is what it is...hit a big trade..

0 points
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RobinsonDavis's picture

October 09, 2023 at 07:07 pm

Agree with the comments! For me, I want to see if they have the right mentality at the very start...no sleep walking through the first half. Execution, Scheme, & Play calling that fits the situation.

0 points
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SinceLombardi's picture

October 09, 2023 at 10:56 pm

26 first half points all year. One opening drive TD in all of 2022 with a HOF quarterback

0 points
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Fubared's picture

October 09, 2023 at 10:27 pm

I have this game even up. Garapolo and Love are the two puzzles here, which one shows up. Both are struggling so its who makes the least mistakes that wins.

0 points
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SinceLombardi's picture

October 09, 2023 at 10:54 pm

Which team is bad, real bad?

0 points
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