The Oakland Raiders take on the Batlimore Ravens in 2015 Regular Season Week 2 action Sunday at O.co Coliseum. Raiders.com Senior Editor Jerry Knaak poses five questions heading into this game.
1. Will the Raiders bounce back after last week's loss?
The Raiders lost the Bengals 33-13 last week. The team, to a man, says they have put it behind them and are solely and suprememly focused on this week's game and improving.
2. Will the Raiders be able to stop the run?
The Bengals rushed for 127 yards against the Raiders in Week 1. Stopping RB Justin Forsett will be paramount this week.
- Will the Raiders be able to run the ball?**
After getting off to a strong start in the first two preseason games, the Raiders struggled to run the ball. Starting right tackle Menelik Watson went down to an Achilles injury and Austin Howard has been plugged in. Running back Latavius Murray is the new featured back. He carried the ball 11 tiumes for 44 yards last week. The Raiders were unable to stick to the running game as the score got out of hand. The Raiders will need to keep this game close and run the ball to have a chance to win.
4. How well will the Raiders defend the pass?
Once again, this subject may sound like a broken record. But the Raiders top four cornerbacks have 10 years of experience among them. The front seven, if Aldon Smith catches on quickly, looks to be one of the most formidable in the NFL. Bengals QB Andy Dalton completed 25 of 34 for 269 yards and 2 TDs and was only hit once. The Raiders will need to get after Joe Flacco and take away the deep ball.
5. Can the Raiders stretch the field?
The Raiders longest completion last week was 24 yards from QB Derek Carr to Amari Cooper. The Raiders will have to get some chunk plays down the field and stay "ahead of the sticks" against a very stingy Baltimore defense. Carr is ready to go after leaving last week's game in the 2nd quarter. He'll need to be on in this game.