For the better part of a decade, Oakland Raiders fans have been more intimidating than the team they don shoulder pads and face paint to support.
The Raiders haven’t been a serious NFL threat since 2003. But now, like the Bills, they’re suddenly dangerous.
That doesn’t mean Oakland will enjoy the same result Buffalo did.
While the Raiders’ rushing attack will keep the Patriots’ defensive line and linebackers busy, Oakland’s passing game is nothing to write home about.
Jason Campbell is no Ryan Fitzpatrick; he averages just 190 yards a game, and has thrown three touchdowns all season. That should allow New England’s secondary to actually look competent.
Of course, that doesn’t mean the Pats will be able to put it on cruise control. While Oakland’s defense gives up a ton of passing yards, Tom Brady hasn’t faced them in years.
“It’s been kind of a crash course the last few days in getting to know them, getting to know their personnel and their schemes,” Brady said. “But they’re very good.”
And Richard Seymour (10 tackles, 2.5 sacks this year) will surely be out to get his old team.
“We know the challenge it is like to block him up front,” Brady said. “We’ve had to do it in practice for a lot of years.”