The Raiders face the Falcons at the Georigia Dome in Atlanta for the first time since 2004. AP Photo.
THIS WEEK'S NOTABLE STORYLINES:
- The Raiders return from the bye week with a Week 6 contest at Atlanta on Sunday.
- The Raiders are in the midst of a road-heavy stretch of the schedule, playing only one home game in a span of five weeks. Beginning with a Nov. 4 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at O.co Coliseum, the Silver and Black will play five home games during a seven-week span.
- Sunday's game will mark the second of five Raider games in the Eastern Time Zone this season, most in franchise history. The Raiders will travel 28,692 miles this season, more than any other team in the NFL.
- RB Darren McFadden and FB Marcel Reece are among the leading receivers in the NFL out of the backfield. McFadden ranks fourth in the league among running backs with 18 receptions, while Reece is tied for 13th in the NFL with 13 catches.
- The Raiders will face Atlanta for just the 13th time in franchise history and the first time since 2008. The Silver and Black has visited the Georgia Dome just twice since the building opened in 1992, posting a 1-1 record.
- Head Coach Dennis Allen was born in Atlanta and his father, Grady, played for the Falcons from 1968-72. Allen served as an assistant coach for the Falcons from 2002-05.
- The Raiders won their only two indoor games last season, defeating Houston and Minnesota.
RAIDERS RETURN TO ACTION AT ATLANTA:The Raiders travel to Atlanta to take on the Falcons in the Silver and Black's first visit to the Georgia Dome since the 2004 season. Coming off of the bye, the Raiders enter Sunday's game with a 1-3 record following a 37-6 loss at Denver on Sept. 30. The Falcons are currently 5-0, having registered a 24-17 win over Washington last week. The Falcons are the Raiders' first NFC opponent this season, as the Silver and Black will play each member of the NFC South division in 2012.
THE SERIES:The Raiders and Falcons have played 12 times since their first meeting in 1971, a 24-13 Falcons win in Atlanta. The Raiders lead the all-time series, 7-5, but will be looking for the team's first victory over the Falcons since the 2000 season. The Raiders have played in the Georgia Dome just twice, visiting Atlanta in 1997 and 2004.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN:The Raiders are in the midst of a road-heavy stretch, with the Silver and Black playing only one home game in a five-week span. Oakland's next home game, Oct. 21 vs. Jacksonville, falls between two road trips to Atlanta this week and Kansas City on Oct. 28. Beginning with a home game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Nov. 4, the Raiders will play five home games over a seven-week stretch.
RUNNING BACK RECEPTIONS:RB Darren McFadden leads the Raiders with 18 receptions so far this season, and set a franchise record for running backs with 13 catches in the season opener against San Diego. McFadden's backfield mate Marcel Reece has hauled in 13 passes, including a career-high-tying five at Denver on Sept. 30. Both players rank among the top 13 in the NFL for receptions among running backs, with McFadden ranking fourth and Reece tied for 13th.
RECEPTION DUO RANKS THIRD:RB Darren McFadden and FB Marcel Reece's 31 combined receptions rank third among backfield combinations in the NFL despite only four games played.
TAKE IT INSIDE:Sunday's contest at the Georgia Dome will mark the first and only indoor game for the Silver and Black during the regular season. Last year, the Raiders played twice indoors, posting victories at Houston and Minnesota. The victory over the Texans on Oct. 9, an emotional contest one day after the passing of owner Al Davis, snapped a nine-game losing streak for the Raiders in indoor games that dated back to a victory at Indianapolis during the 2001 season.
HOMECOMING FOR D.A.:Although Head Coach Dennis Allen attended high school in Hurst, Texas, and played collegiality at Texas A&M, Sunday's game will mark a homecoming for the first-year head coach. Allen was born in Atlanta and his father, Grady, played linebacker for the Falcons under head coaches Norb Hecker and Norm Van Brocklin from 1968-72. Allen served his first NFL coaching stint in Atlanta, serving as a defensive assistant and quality-control coach with the Falcons from 2002-05.
MILESTONE GAME FOR SEYMOUR:Sunday's game will mark DT Richard Seymour's 50th game as a member of the Silver and Black. Acquired in exchange for a first-round pick from the New England Patriots the week prior to the 2009 season opener, Seymour has started 48 games since joining the Silver and Black. The veteran lineman has totaled 16.5 sacks with the Raiders and earned Pro Bowl selections in 2010 and 2011.
MATT RYAN AND THE MAD BOMBER:Falcons QB Matt Ryan has posted a 14-0 career record in games in which he has thrown three touchdowns. Only former Raider signal-caller Daryle Lamonica has posted a better record (19-0) in games with at least three touchdown passes.
TRAVELING FAR AND WIDE:This week's game at Atlanta will mark the second of five games for the Silver and Black in the Eastern Time Zone this season, most in franchise history. The Raiders this season will fly a league-high 28,692 miles, more than the 25,000-mile trek around the globe. The good news is none of their trips are on consecutive weeks, and they leave California just once – at Carolina Dec. 23 – over the season's final five weeks. The Raiders, Seahawks and Chargers will all travel "around the world" at least once this season (25,000 miles).
INDIVIDUAL HIGHLIGHTS vs. ATLANTA:S Tyvon Branch has started 52 straight games since suffering a shoulder injury as a rookie against Atlanta on Nov. 2, 2008...LB Aaron Curry totaled seven tackles (six solo) against the Falcons as a member of the Seattle Seahawks on Dec. 19, 2010... RB Mike Goodson rushed nine times for 70 yards including a 13-yard touchdown run for the Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta on Dec. 12, 2010...S Michael Huff posted three tackles (two solo) against the Falcons on Nov. 2, 2008...K Sebastian Janikowski kicked a season-long 52-yard field goal at Atlanta on Dec. 12, 2004...DT Tommy Kelly posted three solo stops at Atlanta on Dec. 12, 2004, and recorded seven tackles (four solo) against the Falcons on Nov. 2, 2008...P Shane Lechler recorded four punts of 50 or more yards, including a 64-yard effort against Atlanta on Nov. 2, 2008... Lechler also had a 67-yard punt at Atlanta on Dec. 12, 2004...QB Matt Leinart made his NFL debut at Atlanta on Oct. 1, 2006, as a member of the Arizona Cardinals...QB Carson Palmer fell just short of career highs at Atlanta on Oct. 24, 2010, completing 36-of-50 pass attempts for 412 yards with three touchdowns as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals...DT Richard Seymour recorded his first career sack with the New England Patriots at Atlanta on Nov. 2, 2001...CB Shawntae Spencer made his NFL debut with the San Francisco 49ers against the Falcons on Sept. 12, 2004...LB Philip Wheeler recorded a then-career high with 12 tackles (seven solo) with one sack against the Falcons on Nov. 6, 2011.
Raiders Head Coach Dennis Allen served as a defensive assistant/quality control coach for the Falcons from 2002-05...Allen was born in Atlanta and his father, Grady, played linebacker for the Falcons from 1968-72... Offensive coordinator Greg Knapp was Atlanta's offensive coordinator from 2004-06...Strength and conditioning coach Al Miller served in the same capacity with the Falcons from 1997-2005...Quality control-offense coach Justin Griffith was the Falcons' fourth-round draft pick in 2003 and played for Atlanta from 2003-06 before playing for the Raiders from 2007-08...DT Christo Bilukidi attended Georgia State in Atlanta...DT Richard Seymour attended Georgia...K Sebastian Janikowski and Falcons S Chris Hope were teammates at Florida State from 1998-99...LB Philip Wheeler is from Columbus, Ga., and attended Georgia Tech...S Matt Giordano and Falcons S Thomas DeCoud played together at Cal... DeCoud is from Pinole, Calif., and attended Pinole Valley High School... Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez attended California, playing football and basketball...Falcons CB Chris Owens attended San Jose State...Falcons T Will Svitek attended Stanford...Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan was head coach for the San Francisco 49ers from 2005-08, while Raiders defensive coordinator Jason Tarver served as outside linebackers coach for the 49ers...Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter served in the same capacity at San Francisco State in 1985...Falcons director of athletic performance Jeff Fish was strength and conditioning coordinator for the Raiders from 2004-07...Falcons offensive line coach Pat Hill was head coach at Fresno State from 1997-2011...Falcons wide receivers coach Terry Robiskie played for the Raiders from 1977-79 and served as an assistant coach for the Silver and Black for 12 years, including as offensive coordinator from 1989-93.