Five nuggets of information about Week 6
All about Al: It’s fitting the Oakland Raiders are the only team in the AFC West that is playing this weekend. The other three teams in the division are on their bye. This week should just be about the Raiders. It should be a special scene Sunday when the Cleveland Browns visit Oakland. There should be many tears as the Raiders play their first home game since the death of legendary owner Al Davis. The Raiders are planning to pay tribute to Davis throughout the game.
A chance for breathing room: The Raiders are 3-2. If they beat the Browns and move to 4-2, it will be the first time in nine years that they were two games over .500. Yes, that was the season the Raiders last went to the playoffs ... and the Super Bowl.
Razorback reunion: This game will be a battle of two top-notch running backs. Oakland’s Darren McFadden is the leading rusher in the NFL and Cleveland running back Peyton Hillis has been one of the league’s most effective rushers. Expect the two former backfield mates to try to outdo each other. Hillis blocked for McFadden and Dallas’ Felix Jones at Arkansas. All three were taken in the 2008 draft. McFadden and Jones were taken in the first round. Hillis was taken by Denver in the final round.
Campbell airing it out: Davis, one of the kings of the down-field pass, would love this statistic. Oakland quarterback Jason Campbell is second in the NFL in passing in the air, according to ESPN Stats & Information. His passes are averaging 9.8 yards in the air. He trails only the Giants’ Eli Manning is averaging 9.9 yards in the air per toss. Just air it out, baby.
Will the Raiders bring the heat? The Raiders blitzed more against the Texans than they have against any team this season. According to ESPN Stats and Information, the Raiders blitzed five or more pass-rushers 43.4 percent of the time at Houston. Their season average is 26.8. They blitzed four or fewer pass-rushers in Week 5 56.6 of the time. Their season average is 73.2. Will it continue against the Browns? Davis wasn’t completely against his defense blitzing the quarterback. But when it didn’t work, he wasn’t happy. With plenty of talented pass-rushers on this roster, I wouldn’t be shocked if the Raiders continued to blitz more if the coaching staff sees fit.