The Raiders will barge into M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday to try and keep their playoff hopes alive. Currently sitting at 3-5, Oakland is absolutely desperate to notch a win this week, trying to keep up with the Broncos and Chargers in the AFC West.
The Ravens can’t sleep on this game however, as the schedule after Oakland could be devastating to the team’s final record.
While many fans are anxious about Sunday, I am not worried! If some one-on-one matchups work out like they should, we should rout the Raiders with ease.
Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce vs. the 21st ranked Rushing D: Last week Cam Cameron finally heard the voice of Ravens Nation and gave the pigskin to #27, and by running a new game plan, he may have found a gem. Bernard Pierce, the rookie out of Temple, put his aggressive rushing style on display on Sunday. Pierce scampered to the end zone for an 11-yard score, and had several other tough runs.
Cameron needs to go against his usual style, actually use talent, and insert Pierce into the game plan more often. The linebacker corps of the Raiders has been below par this year and they leave a huge vulnerability for Rice and Pierce to get to the third level.
Torrey Smith vs. Michael Huff: This one has to be the most exciting matchup of the day. The quickness of Smith could give him the big edge he needs. The Buccaneers picked on Huff last week, and he let up a couple big passes to WR Vincent Jackson.
Smith is on pace for 10+ TD’s, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see at least one of them caught on Sunday.
Richard Seymour vs. The Ravens Coaching: Didn’t expect to see this one did you? Seymour had a big game against the Ravens in Week 17 of 2009, posting 6 tackles (5 solo). But this time, Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees could give an edge to the O-Line. Pees coached as the DC for New England from 2006-2009, the time where Seymour happened to play there.
Even though it’s the performance of the guards that will be this deciding factor, Dean Pees could tip off a few things that could stop the former Pro-Bowler in his tracks.
M&T vs. Carson Palmer: Let’s be real: The Ravens have won 14 straight at home and this will NOT change! While Palmer does have a career 9-4 record against Baltimore, the best fans in the NFL really are in Baltimore. Naysayers can argue all they want, there is nothing like being at a Ravens game. Palmer has heard the intensity in the uproar before, but we have certainly gotten stronger over the past years. The RAIDA’s are in for a headache.