Raiders "Jeet Kune Do"
I have been a life-long fan of Bruce Lee and the Oakland Raiders. I have admired, been inspired, and thoroughly entertained by both Lee and Raider football for countless years. Bruce Lee was revolutionary in his philosophies and martial arts. I find it apropos to tie Jeet Kune Do, which was the brain-child of Lee, with the Raiders upcoming game vs. the Jets.
After many years of feeling restricted by the art of Kung Fu, Lee developed Jeet Kune Do. The essence of Jeet Kun Do is to adapt your combat fighting style to whatever works best against your opponent. It is the "style of not style". It's not "this" method or "that" method. It was Lee's hope to free his follower's minds from clinging to styles, patterns, or molds.
The Raiders played arguably their best overall defensive game since beating the Steelers in 2006. The Raider Nation is naturally fired up about blitzing McNabb to hell. Many fans are looking towards the blitz as the remedy to continue on this path. I believe that the blitz is a very important tool for an effective and dynamic defense. Sustaining QB pressure and running an unpredictable defensive scheme are the pillars to a modern NFL defense.
However, it is important to note that the Eagles were the perfect team to blitz with regularity. The Eagles do not rely on the running game on 1st and 2nd down. The Eagles OLine was beat up and missing starting LT Peters for most of the game.
Going into the Jets game, the Raiders defense needs to adapt their defensive approach to fit the opponent. Here are a few statistics that are relevant for our upcoming opponent:
Rushing Attempts Per Game: 33.5 (#1 in NFL)
Rushing Yards: 978 (#1 in NFL)
Avg. Yards Per Carry: 4.9 (#3 in NFL)
Avg. Yards Per Game: 163 (#2 in NFL)
Oakland Raiders (Defense)
Avg. Yards Per game: 145.3 (#28 in NFL)
Last week the Jets rushed the ball for 318 yards. RB Thomas Jones ran the ball 22 times for 210 yards. The team had 40 carries for 7.9 yards per carry.
On 1st and 2nd down, the Raiders defense needs to put 8 in the box against the Jets, be stout at the point of attack, maintain their gap responsibilities, and have an excellent day in tackling. This will require team discipline and passionate, aggressive play.
If and when the Raiders D puts the Jets offense in 3rd and long situations, then it will be time to cut the dogs of war loose on rookie QB Sanchize.