The Baltimore Ravens play host to the Oakland Raiders in week 10 as they play their first home game in a month after two road games and a bye week. Baltimore will look to remain atop the AFC North with a victory, before next week's big matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
This week we have hooked up with our counterparts over at OaklandRaiders101 and Editor Nick Gill to get the inside scoop on the west coast Raiders.
BR101: With Darren McFadden's injury in week nine against Tampa, who will the Ravens see rush the football for the Raiders, and what is the severity of McFadden's injury?
OR101: Darren McFadden suffered a high ankle sprain and did not participate in practice on Wednesday or Thursday. Head Coach Dennis Allen said he would not make a decision until after practice on Friday to determine if he will be available. Raiders' back-up running back Mike Goodson also has a high ankle sprain and both were in a boot Thursday. It is unlikely either will play against the Ravens, so watch for second year running back Taiwan Jones and fullback Marcel Reece to handle the rushing duties. Jones is a burner, but has never broken into the rotation. Reece is a college wide receiver that moved to fullback. Last week, he caught eight passes for 95 yards and a touchdown. Both of these guys have one carry this season.
BR101: The Raiders allow the 4th most points per game in the NFL, who is most to blame for this (coaching staff, defense (line, linebackers, secondary) or offense)?
OR101: Yes, it is a combination of factors that have led to Oakland giving up the 4th most points in the NFL. Both of their week one starting cornerbacks were injured in the first two weeks of the season and have yet to return. They moved safety Michael Huff to cornerback to plug the hole. Understandably, he has struggled at times, but is a good enough athlete to play the position. The Raiders' defensive line has been a letdown thus far only mustering 11 sacks this year. In the NFL, if you don't get to quarterbacks, its over.
BR101: How should the Ravens attack the Raiders if they want to have a chance to win the game?
OR101: Last week against the Buccaneers, running back Doug Martin racked up 251 rushing yards and four touchdowns. I've heard the comparisons of Martin to Ray Rice. It's premature and I'm sure your Ravens' fans are rolling their eyes. So this week, Oakland faces the real Ray Rice. Martin had most of his success running up the middle and breaking outside. The Raiders defensive tackles can be run at. Oakland has done a decent job against the run, but they have given up 230 plus yards twice to Miami and Tampa Bay. They have linebackers in Miles Burris and Phillip Wheeler who do a great job of tracking and tackling ball carriers. As far as the passing game is concerned, the Ravens must protect Joe Flacco and they will have opportunities down the field.
BR101: Final prediction?
OR101: Raiders 20 Ravens 27..The Raiders are such an enigma. They have the talent and ability to be dangerous, but cannot get out of their own way. They will be traveling across the country for a 1pm game and we all know the lack of success west coast teams have coming east. If the Ravens take Oakland lightly, they could be in trouble. Carson Palmer has really shown his toughness this season and will test the Baltimore secondary at times. However, he is prone to really bad interceptions at crucial times. Look for the Raiders to focus their defense on slowing down Rice. If they can do that, they will hang around and have a chance to steal this win.
Ravens101 would like to thank Nick Gill and OaklandRaiders101 for taking the time to give us the inside scoop on the Raiders for this week's matchup and be sure to follow on Twitter as the trash talk will commence between myself and Nick.
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