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Key Matchups: Silver and Black secondary square off with yet another former MVP at quarterback

DC and 'Matty Ice'

After engaging in a shootout with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, Carr might be in for another one in Atlanta this Sunday.

Derek Carr will have to continue to put points on the board for the Silver and Black, as he's going up against All-Pro quarterback Matt Ryan. Ryan currently is third in the league in passing yards, and like Carr, has multiple weapons around him to help him thrive. The Falcons are currently averaging 381.9 yards per game to the Raiders' 369.4 yards per game.

Matt Ryan will be the fourth former NFL MVP quarterback Carr has faced off against this season, but No. 4 has been playing MVP-caliber football this season as well. He's been locked in this season, throwing 2,431 passing yards, 19 touchdowns and three interceptions with a 108.7 QB rating.

"Matt's done it for a long time at a high level," said Coach Gruden. "I've always enjoyed the way he plays; he's a coach on the field, he's a great down-to-down competitor. They call him 'Matty Ice' for a reason. I think a lot of our quarterback obviously, and I'm not going to compare them, but we got to play a lot better on defense to slow Ryan and this offense down."

Good Friends, Better Enemies

This Sunday in Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Coach Jon Gruden will be on the other side of the field from a man he knows awfully too well.

The contest with the Falcons will be a reunion between Jon Gruden and Falcons interim head coach Raheem Morris. Gruden and Morris' history together dates back to 2002 when they won a Super Bowl together. Morris was Gruden's defensive backs coach for the Buccaneers until 2008.

With Gruden known to be an offensive mastermind and Morris known for his defensive prowess, it proves to be an extremely formidable matchup between the two friends in Atlanta. While the Raiders currently sit at 6-4, the Falcons have gone 3-1 since Morris took over as interim head coach after a 0-5 start for the Falcons.

"He was one of the first people that taught me how to work, how to put time into it, how to come into work and absolutely beat people to work and thrive in that environment," Morris said to the media Monday. "The work ethic he brought to the game, how much he loved football, his care for his coaching staff and everyone around him."

"Raheem is a heck of a coach," said Gruden in response to Morris' comments. "He's a great guy and he knows the game inside out. I pull for him every week, except this week. I can't wait to see him, can't wait to compete against him and I know he's going to have those guys ready."

Mullen and Ridley run it back

The last time Trayvon Mullen and Calvin Ridley were on the same field was in the 2017 NCAA National Championship game. Mullen's Clemson Tigers got the best of Ridley's Alabama Crimson Tide in an epic title game, and Mullen is hoping for the same this Sunday.

Mullen has dealt with some difficult matchups this year, often being called on to cover the opposition's best receiver. This week he's planning on seeing a lot of Calvin Ridley, who is leading the Falcons in catches (48), targets (77), receiving yards (747) and touchdowns (6).

No. 27 is preparing for Ridley by just "using good fundamentals and technique" when lined up against him. And he's coming off a week in which he picked off Patrick Mahomes in the red zone at the end of the first half.

"Just knowing he's a good receiver, it's going to be a lot of competition and I'm ready for it," said Trayvon Mullen. "We are ready for it as a group as well…we're going to get after him."

The Raiders get one last practice in at Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center before heading to Atlanta for their Week 12 matchup against the Falcons.

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