The Oakland Raiders come of their bye week at 2-4 but they face four straight winnable games against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants and Houston Texans. On paper, the Raiders could still be in the playoff picture after the four game stint but their opponents all have a great pass rush which is the Raiders greatest weakness. In order for the Raiders to protect Terrelle Pryor and get some points on the board they must utilize rookie tight end Mychal Rivera.
In five games with the Raiders this season, Terrelle Pryor improvised his way into making some big plays for the Raiders offense. However, Pryor’s last game against the Chiefs showed that he can’t carry the team by himself. Offensive coordinator Greg Olson must start call short passes and screens that will take the pressure off the atrocious offensive line.
Rookie tight end Mychal Rivera must step up for the rest of the season for the Raiders to have any chance of winning some games. All great offenses have a go to tight end who can be the safety blanket for the quarterback. Olson must involve Rivera early in the game to get Rivera’s confidence up for the rest of the game. Although Rivera is nowhere near being a great receiver, he has proven that he is the best tight end on the Raiders roster.
The noodle armed Matt Flynn actually targeted Rivera seven times during his lone start with the silver and black. Obviously, Pryor should not copy all of Flynn’s tactics but he should try to utilize Rivera just like Flynn did. If Rivera starts to make some noise on the offense it will force a linebacker to focus on Rivera which could free up some running room for Pryor.
Unfortunately, the Raiders offensive line will be awful all year long. Greg Olson must try to make the best out of a bad situation by game planning around his pathetic blockers. Giving the ball to Rivera might not make the Raiders an explosive offense but it will help take pressure of the young Terrelle Pryor.