The Ravens travel west to take on the Oakland Raiders in a battle of what would appear to be two mediocre teams. Statistically speaking, these teams are very similar. The Raiders are coming off a difficult loss to the Broncos where they lost their starting quarterback Derek Carr to a back injury. E. J. Manuel will fill in for Carr this Sunday and will try to break their two game losing streak. Manuel, who was a first round pick back in 2013, has been in the league for 5 years and has played in 30 regular season games, so he has plenty of game experience. Privately, the Ravens have to be celebrating that Carr is out and can only hope that Crabtree, who missed last week’s game, will miss this week’s game as well. It is no secret that the Ravens need any break that they can get right now. While most of the news on the Ravens has been overwhelmingly negative there are a few bright spots to note, some of which include:
- Alex Collins, initially a practice squad player, has brought some excitement to the running game
- Ben Watson has proven to be a very reliable receiver and is also bringing some leadership to the team
- Humphrey, while still green, is showing some promise with his CB skills
- Although ranked dead last in passing yards, and 31st in total yards they have still managed to win 2 games
After two straight games of looking pretty bad on both sides of the ball, the Ravens did show a little glimmer of hope last week. In the second half of the Steeler’s game the Ravens defense showed up and forced several three and outs. Likewise in the 3rd quarter, Flacco looked good with his throws and they moved the ball well against the Steelers defense. While the success was limited, they need to build off of this and hope there is more where that came from.
Sunday is a tough game to figure out and it is hard to say with any conviction how things are going to go. The odds makers have Oakland by 2 ½ which is basically a home town advantage. You are not going to see a lot of changes in personnel or approach as Harbaugh has already gone on record as saying they are not making wholesale changes. In coach speak this means “we got what we got” and we have to make the most of it. I think Sunday is going to be tough on the Ravens. They have not played well on the road for a few years now and West Coast trips are always tough on them. The Raiders have had our number these past two years. Our offense doesn’t normally travel well and I would expect another sub 250 yard day for the offense. Khalil Mack is likely to have a big day against our O line and I would expect him to not only get a few sacks but also force a fumble along the way. I think the Ravens will look better on Sunday than they have the past two weeks, but I believe they will come up short and lose their 3rd straight. Raiders win this one in a low scoring affair and do cover the 2 1/2 points.
Even if they lose Sunday the Ravens still have plenty of time to get their act together. Flacco is still in preseason form and should show some steady improvement as he gets more acquainted with his receivers. The rest of league is also having ups and downs so there is no need to panic at this point in the season. I just hope that we have a game where we don’t lose another player to a season ending injury. Enjoy the game and stay thirsty my friends.
Oakland Raiders host the Baltimore Ravens – Sunday, October 8th @ 4:05 PM Odds – Raiders by 2 ½
|Net Rushing Yardage||Ravens||112||Raiders||109|
|Net Passing Yardage||Ravens||189||Raiders||198|
- Perriman drops another one
- Flacco’s streak goes to 11
- Khalil Mack gets two sacks
- Refs make terrible calls
Possible Monday morning headlines in the Sun Papers
Ravens fall short but look better in loss to Raiders
Mack trucks over Flacco
Keys to the Game
- Establish the Run and play ball control
- Contain the Beast
- Get out the gate quick and score early