The Oakland Raiders will try to make it two in a row Sunday afternoon at M&T Bank Stadium as they travel to Baltimore to take on the Ravens.
Coming off a season-reviving win themselves, and with playoff aspirations still on the table, John Harbaugh’s team will present quite the challenge for the Silver and Black, especially on the road.
Kickoff is scheduled for 10:00 am PT Sunday morning, so don’t forget to set your alarm clocks; here are three matchups that you need to watch as you start your Sunday with the Raiders.
Kelechi Osemele, Rodney Hudson and Gabe Jackson vs. Chris Wormley and Brandon Williams
The Baltimore Ravens play outstanding defense – that’s just what they do.
Headed into the Week 12 battle in Baltimore, the Ravens statistically boast the best overall defense in the NFL, surrendering just 300 total yards per game.
As far as the ground game is concerned, defensive coordinator Don Martindale’s group ranks third in that particular metric, allowing on average less than 95 rushing yards each time they take the field.
The Raiders have now crossed the 100-rushing yard threshold four weeks in a row, and the triumvirate of Doug Martin, Jalen Richard DeAndré Washington are coming off their best collective effort of 2018.
The game is won and lost up front – especially when it’s played in less-than-ideal conditions – so keep an eye on the Raiders interior line to see how they fare against the Ravens.
The group was able to impart its will and find a groove last weekend in Arizona; let’s see if they can replicate that success.
Daryl Worley vs. John Brown
While our old pal Michael Crabtree will no doubt try to leave his mark on Sunday’s game, when you take a look at the Ravens wide receivers, John Brown is the one who far away and is having the best statistical go of things in 2018.
Brown’s 35 receptions are good for third on the roster, but his 624 receiving yards are 125 clear of Willie Snead IV, who ranks second on the squad, and Brown’s four touchdowns are also the most by any Ravens receiver.
Throughout his career, Brown has had a flair for making the big play, and while the Raiders defense has indeed played an improved brand of football the past two weeks, giving up explosive plays has still hampered the unit.
Since he returned from suspension, Daryl Worley has established himself as one of the Raiders base cornerbacks, and while I would take a guess that a handful of guys will get their shot at Brown, Worley will assuredly be asked to do a lot as far as shutting down No. 13 goes.
Marcell Ateman vs. Brandon Carr
It remains to be seen if Jordy Nelson returns to game action Sunday afternoon in Baltimore, but whether or not the veteran wide receiver is able to strap on the pads, once again, much will be asked of Marcell Ateman.
The physical rookie impressed in his NFL debut last weekend, hauling in four catches for 50 yards, as well as securing the signature play on the final drive in regulation, eventually setting up Daniel Carlson’s game-winning field goal.
We’ve talked a lot about the impressive ability of the Baltimore defense, so Ateman will have his hands full with the Ravens collection of defensive backs.
The Baltimore defense will do its best to make sure nothing comes easy – especially at home – but I’m excited to see if Ateman can build off his impressive debut.
Raiders offensive linemen hosted a special food giveaway at Raiders HQ where families received much needed turkeys, pies and food for Thanksgiving.