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The Oakland Raiders will head into their week three matchup undefeated and ready for a prime time showdown with Washington.

The season is barely underway and the Raiders are already going to be in the national spotlight, and not just because they’re on national television. This is a Raiders team who was the subject of a whole lot of offseason hype and after the first two weeks, that hype has for the most part been justified. But in order to continue down that path, the Raiders need to dispense of Washington in fairly convincing fashion.

Washington is a team who had a decent amount of hype surrounding them this offseason but so far, they have failed to live up to it with a week one loss to the Eagles and only just barely came away with a week two win over the Rams.

But despite the less than stellar start, this is still a team that demands the respect of the Raiders. Getting a win won’t be easy, but it’s not like the Raiders are taking on the Patriots or Chiefs. It’s a very winnable game and here are a few keys to getting that done:

Make Kirk Cousins Beat You

Kirk Cousins may not be the world beater Derek Carr is, but he’s a QB that’s at least in the top half of the league if not better. That being said, so far this season he hasn’t played particularly well. By far, the run game has been the strongest part of this Washington offense.

So far, the Washington run game is third in the league in total yards, yards per carry and yards per game. So while Cousins is the big name and Terrelle Pryor was the big free agent signing, it’s the run game that has kept them afloat thus far.

If the Raiders can take away the run game, they will force Cousins to win it with his arm. And while he has a great weapon in Pryor, the two are clearly not on the same page yet and it’s doubtful they fix that by this weekend.

Kirk Cousins wants to be paid like an elite quarterback so it’s only fitting that the Raiders force him to play like one in order to win.

 

Pass to Run

On defense, Washington is also far better at stopping the run than the pass. Luckily for the Raiders, this is one of the most balanced offenses in the NFL so they have no problem playing to an opponents weakness because there’s not just one strength to this Raiders offense.

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