The Oakland Raiders have succeeded most expectations placed upon themselves with their 5-2 start to the NFL season. Head coach Jack Del Rio has his team perfect on the road, executing strong game plans with a high-potent offense. They now face off against another electric offense in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Coming into the game, the Raiders and Buccaneers rank right next to each other in terms of offensive production. The Raiders are ranked 12th in the NFL at 369.6 yards per game, while the Buccaneers are ranked 13th at 365.3 yards per game.
On the defensive side of the ball, Del Rio and his staff continue to dig themselves out of a hole. The Buccaneers defense ranks 13th in the NFL, allowing 350.7 yards per game. On the other hand, the Raiders continue to rank last by allowing 430.4 yards per game.
However, the Raiders have allowed less and less yards each game, showing signs of improvement.
The contest at Raymond James Stadium will feature a battle of two emerging quarterbacks, trying to instill a winning culture and take their teams to the next level.
Coming into the contest, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has thrown for 1808 yards, including 13 touchdowns and three interceptions. His 65.9 completion percentage is on track for a career high, as the third-year quarterback has developed with each season.
Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston has thrown for 1596 yards this season, along with 12 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Both quarterbacks were selected to the 2015 Pro Bowl and are attempting to make the playoffs this season.
The Buccaneers are currently 3-3 on the season, a game behind the 4-3 Falcons. The Falcons have a tough matchup against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, meaning the Buccaneers do have a chance to gain a lead in the NFC South.
The Buccaneers are playing without stud running back Doug Martin, as he continues to rehab a delicate hamstring injury. Jacquizz Rodgers has stepped in his place, as the new starter is a dual threat running back, which the Raiders must contain.
Both teams boast a strong receiving core, although the edge should go to the Raiders. Michael Crabtree has turned into Carr’s go-to target, while Amari Cooper remains on the other side and can be a scoring threat on every pass.
Winston is locked in on Mike Evans, who secured two touchdowns in their Week 7 matchup. With Vincent Jackson gone due to injury, Evans remains the key point of the receiving core.
Running back Latavius Murray will see action in his second contest back from the turf toe injury, attempting to build momentum off of his previous performance.
Against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Murray took 18 rushes for 59 yards and two touchdowns. On average, the Buccaneers allow 113.2 rushing yards per game, which Murray and the rookie duo of running backs must exploit. With an established run defense, Carr can begin finding open alleys for his receiving core.
The Raiders remained in Florida after their defeat of the Jaguars, in order to reduce travel and to explore the state of Florida.
The game is slated for a 10:00 A.M. PST start and will be televised on CBS.