Vegas Odds & NFL Predictions: Green Bay Packers at Oakland Raiders (August 24th, 2018)
Oakland Meets Green Bay in Week 3 Dress Rehearsal
Week three is typically the one where the first stringers get the most playing time to help them prepare for the season opener in a couple weeks time. One of the most entertaining is likely this game which features the Oakland Raiders hosting the Green Bay Packers.
Jon Gruden is returning to the sidelines after nine years in the booth as one of the voices of Monday Night Football. He’s back coaching the Raiders for the first time since January 2002 and he remains as revered there as any current player -never mind coach- in the game.
His main task is bringing out the best in his quarterback Derek Carr whom he calls the best at his position that he’s ever had as a coach.
Carr looked poised for superstardom two seasons ago as he led one of the NFL’s best offenses and the Raiders to a 12-4 record. It was the team’s first winning season since their Super Bowl season of 2002-03 and their first time finishing above .500 as well. But he got injured in the last regular season game and may have rushed back to get on the field last year.
Whatever the case he looked to be hesitant, almost a shell of his former self. The offense struggled, the team returned to its losing ways, finishing 6-10 and it cost coach Jack Del Rio his job.
Gruden came in determined to change the culture with veteran players. WR Michael Crabtree is gone and Jordy Nelson is in. Doug Martin was signed to back up Marshawn Lynch, and Derrick Johnson is in instead of Navarro Bowman.
The results thus far have been mixed with the offense producing just 31 points through two preseason games. They beat the Lions 16-10 in week one and dropped a 19-15 decision to the Rams last week.
Carr didn’t play last week and went just 2-4 in week one.
Green Bay’s offense on the other hand has been dynamite so far, scoring 82 points through two games. They beat the Titans 31-17 in week one and Pittsburgh 51-34 last week.
With Nelson gone, Devonte Adams and Randall Cobb are the clear WR 1 and 2. They will be joined be a still dangerous Jimmy Graham at tight end and Jamaal Williams seems to have the inside track as the RB 1.
Aaron Rodgers has only thrown four passes in the preseason.