Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

September 26, 2011
Raiders prep for the Patriots

ALAMEDA - As big as beating the New York Jets was Sunday, the New England Patriots will be in town this weekend.

And even though the Jets - not New England - have lost in the last two AFC Championship games, it's the Patriots who are regarded as the NFL's elite team.

The Patriots have something in common with the Raiders this season - blowing a big lead at Buffalo.

New England led 21-0 before losing 34-31 to the Bills Sunday.

That doesn't mean Raiders coach Hue Jackson didn't heap praise upon the Patriots:

"This team has the best quarterback in football (Tom Brady). They have the best coach (Bill Belichick). They've been the Super Bowl champion. It's going to be tremendous challenge for this football team. But that's what this is all about, every week to go out and compete against the best. This is the best of the best week in and week out. There is no easy opportunities in this deal. And again, if we're going to become the team that I think we can become, these are the challenges you want. You want to play the Jets at home in your opening game. You want to be able to play Tom Brady and the Patriots in your second game. And they'll be fired up and chomping at the bit. They lost a tough one in Buffalo just like we did. But they gotta come out here, in the O, Raiders nation, our fans, our football team and come play us, and we'll show up."

The Jets presented a different challenge for the Raiders, who welcome any team that wants to play a physical style.

The Patriots are allowing 468.7 yards per game and putting up 540.3 yards of offense per game.

There will be a lot o pressure on the defense to slow down Brady with an offense that will cause problems as Brady has completed passes to 10 different receivers this season.

"This is just a finesse team. I mean," said linebacker Rolando McClain. "Tom Brady's a smart guy, has many weapons around him, with his receivers as well as his tight ends. His tight ends are playing great right now."

I'm pretty sure McClain did not mean "finesse" as an insult, but was referring to the contrast in styles.

*No injury updates on cornerback Chris Johnson (hamstring), safety Michael Huff (concussion) or fullback Marcel Reece (ankle) until Wednesday.

Jackson isn't worried about Darren McFadden (groin) missing anytime. If anything, Jackson is being overly cautious with him.

*The Raiders released cornerback Sterling Moore from the practice squad and added defensive back Ron Parker to the practice squad.

Parker (6-1, 210) played at Newberry College in South Carolina. Parker played safety and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.35 seconds at his Pro Day.

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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