The Oakland Raiders notched their first win of the 2015 campaign Sunday in thrilling fashion, knocking off the Baltimore Ravens 37-33 at O.co Coliseum.
However, Head Coach Jack Del Rio has stressed that the team's priorities are now on their Week 3 matchup with the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium.
The Browns are coming off a 28-14 win over the Tennessee Titans, so leading up to the showdown between the two AFC foes, it's time to double check our matchups of the week, brought to you by State Farm.
Defensive End Khalil Mack vs. Left Tackle Joe Thomas
The Raiders pass rush began to warm up as the matchup with the Ravens wore on last week, supplying pressure against Joe Flacco in the key moments of the game, but they still have yet to notch their first sack of the young season.
The Raiders pass rush, and Khalil Mack in particular, will have their hands full this weekend trying to secure their first quarterback takedown against a stout Browns offensive line, led by seven-time Pro Bowler Joe Thomas.
And while they might be going against each other Sunday in Cleveland, Mack has a fan in the five-time First-Team All-Pro tackle.
"I'm a huge fan of Khalil Mack," Thomas told SiriusXM NFL Radio earlier in the week. "I think he's going to be the next Lawrence Taylor and I really mean that. He's a fantastic player, and then you throw in another All-Pro in Aldon Smith across on the other side of the ball from him and they're going to be a defense that's going to be really tough to handle all season."
The Browns announced that Josh McCown will start against the Raiders Sunday instead of Johnny Manziel, so formulating a rush against McCown, who while mobile, is more of a pocket-passer than Manziel, will become even more important for the Raiders defense.
Cornerback TJ Carrie vs. Wide Receiver Travis Benjamin
The fourth-year wide receiver has enjoyed an explosive start to 2015, tallying 6 receptions, 204 yards and 3 touchdowns in the first two games of the season, and slowing him down will be crucial for the Raiders defense to find success.
The responsibility of keeping the former Miami Hurricane in check will likely fall to TJ Carrie, who put together a solid performance Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens.
With speedster Andrew Hawkins on the other side of the field, keeping Benjamin in check would go a long way to slow down the Browns offense Sunday.
Raiders Wide Receivers vs. Browns Secondary
The Raiders wide receivers had quite the day Sunday against the Ravens, with Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree both going over 100 yards receiving, and Andre Holmes and Seth Roberts each making major contributions as well.
However, Derek Carr and the receiving corps will have their hands full against the Browns secondary – a unit that boasts four Pro Bowlers, led by All-Pro cornerback Joe Haden.
"He's [Haden] one of the top corners in the game," Head Coach Del Rio said earlier in the week. "He's a really good sticky man-coverage guy. They leave him out there on an island a lot. He's a good football player. He's been good from the day he came into the league and he's continued to play at a high level."
Haden has notched 16 interceptions in his career and has the reputation for being a shutdown corner, and Carr spoke about the adjustments of going against a top-flight defensive back.
"You definitely have to know where he's at," Carr said. "You definitely have to know where [No.] 23 is at because he's a great player. There are certain routes you know you can't throw against that guy because he's too good. He'll take those away. There are other things that you can try to get guys open. You definitely know where he's at, but if I just shut down one side of the field, I'm hurting the team."
Watching Carr and his receivers battle Hayden throughout the game will definitely be something to keep an eye on Sunday as the Raiders try to secure their first road win of the young season.