Key Matchups To Watch: Oakland Raiders vs. Baltimore Ravens

The Raiders dropped their regular season opener 33-13 to the Cincinnati Bengals, but the team's sights are now set squarely on their next opponent – the Baltimore Ravens.

Similarly to the Silver and Black, the Ravens dropped their season opener Sunday, falling to the Denver Broncos 19-13 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

Heading into the Week 2 showdown with the Baltimore Ravens, it's time to double check our matchups of the week, brought to you by State Farm.

Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree vs. Cornerback Jimmy Smith

While the Ravens didn't win their season opener against the Denver Broncos, they can take solace in the fact that their secondary, led by cornerback Jimmy Smith, held Peyton Manning to just 175 yards through the air, in addition to keeping him out of the end zone.

The Ravens signed Smith to a contract extension this offseason to be their lockdown corner, and the odds are he'll get first crack at shutting down either Amari Cooper or Michael Crabtree.

"I think he's a pretty talented rookie," Smith said when asked about Cooper. "He's a really good route runner. He's got speed and he's physical."

Neither of the Raiders starting wide outs dazzled in their first regular season outings, but getting one, if not both, of them rolling would pay huge dividends for the Raiders offense.

Raiders Pass Rush vs. Baltimore Offensive Line

During a conference call with the Bay Area media, Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh didn't mince words when speaking about Khalil Mack and his importance to the Silver and Black's success on defense.

"I think they have a lot of very good players on defense, but he's probably the focal point," Harbaugh said. "He's a potential game-wrecker. That guy can potentially wreck the whole game. You have to pay close attention to him."

He went on to call the Raiders pass rush "one of the best in the league," and Mack, Justin Tuck and Aldon Smith will certainly have to perform like it if the Raiders hope to find success Sunday.

During their opening contest, the Silver and Black had a hard time pressuring Andy Dalton, and this week Mack and company will have their hands full on the edges trying to shake left tackle Eugene Monroe and right tackle Rick Wagner.

Rodney Hudson vs. Baltimore Interior Defensive Line

Center Rodney Hudson was signed this offseason to be the quarterback of the offensive line and to provide a calming presence for second-year quarterback Derek Carr.

After a solid preseason, Hudson wasn't his usual sharp self Sunday, committing two penalties during the Week 1 loss to the Bengals.

In addition to Hudson keeping Carr upright and providing him time to throw the football, he also plays a key role in getting the run game going.

A solid outing from Hudson against the Ravens interior defensive line would not only pay huge dividends for Derek Carr, but would also help revitalize the Raiders ground attack after only totaling 63 yards on the ground Sunday.

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