Ravens vs Raiders
Sunday – 11/11/12
On Sunday the 3-5 Oakland Raiders travel to Baltimore to take on the 6-2 Ravens. Oakland is coming off a shootout against Tampa Bay in which they lost 42-32 and will be looking to get back on the winning side of things and inch closer to .500. Baltimore returns to the field after beating divisional foe Cleveland last Sunday 25-15. The Raiders and Ravens have only played each other a total of four times, with Baltimore holding the series advantage 3-1.
Last week Baltimore got back to playing the brand of Ravens football that we have all come to know over the last several years. Run the ball and play solid defense. This week we could see more of the same after Oakland gave up an insane 251 yards and four touchdowns to Doug Martin last week. If ever there was a week to feed Ray Rice, this would be the week.
Oakland does have one advantage coming into this game, even with Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson possibly out with ankle injuries. That advantage is, believe or not, Carson Palmer. Ravens fans you know what I’m talking about. Carson has had the Ravens number his whole career with the Bengals. Palmer boasts a 9-4 career record against the Ravens and he will be looking to improve on that mark Sunday at 1:00pm.
What the Ravens need to do to win the game
The Raiders defense I’m sure is going to be expecting a heavy dose of Ray Rice this week after getting torched by Doug Martin last week. I would expect the Ravens to lean on Rice early in the game and see where he can take us. This could open up our play-action deep throw passing game and I’m expecting Torrey Smith to have a field day. If the run game opens up the down field passing game, look for Smith to torch the Raiders secondary which is allowing 245 yards passing a game.
As we all know, if you pressure Carson Palmer he tends to turn the ball over. Somehow, even through the turnovers, he still manages to pull out victories against the Ravens. I would expect a heavy pass rush from our beloved T-Sizzle to try to force Carson into turning the ball over and hopefully get the ball in Ed Reed’s hands. Carson threw three picks last week so let’s hope he’s still in the mood to turn the ball over to us.
The Ravens passing defense needs to step up and have a stout performance this week. Carson threw for over 400 yards last week and their top two running backs will be hobbled with ankle injuries if they even play. The Raiders will be leaning on their passing game and we need to stop the Raiders big plays down the field to secure a victory and improve to 7-2.
This week’s match-up that could decide the fate of the game is Ray Rice versus the Raiders rushing defense. As noted earlier, Doug Martin had a career day against the Raiders last week. If the same holes are there that were opened up for the Bucs, Rice and the Ravens could be rushing their way to victory.
Fantasy Sleeper(s) of the Game
I believe Torrey Smith will have a huge game this week but at this point in his career he is not a sleeper and he is owned in 93% of Yahoo Fantasy leagues. A player who should be available in your league is Raven’s receiver Jacoby Jones. He’s owned in only 7% of leagues and Harbaugh has stated he wants to use Jones and WR Tandon Doss more in the near future to keep Smith and Anquan Bolden fresh. Look for Jones to have good game, and if you need a WR this week, I would pull the trigger on him. Also if you are in need of a RB, the Raiders Taiwan Jones should be available and he will most likely be receiving a bulk of the carries. I would check later today or Saturday to see the updated statuses of Run DMC and Mike Goodson, and if they are out, scoop up Taiwan Jones because we all know how our porous run defense has played this year.
Carson has good success against the Ravens but I don’t think that will be happening this week, especially if Run DMC is out for the Ravens. Look for the Ravens offense to dominate this game and win 34-14.
Enjoy the game folks!