Panthers Quarterback Cam Newton
The Oakland Raiders will face last year's Super Bowl runner-up this Sunday, as they host the Carolina Panthers at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. This will be the sixth encounter between the opposing teams and although the Panthers current record might not be eye-opening, they pose a challenging threat.
At 8-2, the Silver and Black currently sit at the top of the AFC and will have an opportunity to increase their division lead this Sunday. Heading into the matchup, here's what the opponents are saying about the Raiders.
**Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera
Rivera discussed the versatility of the Raiders running backs and how they're able to impact the game.
"They have some pretty elusive backs. They made some really good plays. It's just one of those things, if you go back and look at the games they've played, probably the biggest thing, more so than they've done is they've thrown the ball to the receivers. When you break the tape down and look at it, you know that they were trying to do a little something extra with the receivers and forgot about the backs, and the backs made them pay by making big plays."
Quarterback Cam Newton
Last year's MVP talked about facing a good Raiders squad and a stout defensive front.
"Oakland's a great team, they're very dominant upfront and we have to be prepared for those guys in every sense of what they bring schematically, and I think we will. I know we will."
Newton broke down how the Silver and Black are able to dominate games.
"They can take over a game if you allow them to, but I think we have some answers for them and we just have to stay ahead of the sticks. Third and long is when those guys feast and for us it's going to be up to me to get the ball out of my hands when I need to."
Linebacker Thomas Davis
Davis shared his thoughts on the Raiders' running game and why they're so productive.
"They're a very impressive offense, when you look at what they're capable of doing from an offensive standpoint, Derek getting the ball to not only the receivers, but he did a great job of when the running game wasn't working he found ways to utilize his running backs… We know what kind of test we're going up against as linebackers and we've just got to be prepared for those guys."
Safety Kurt Coleman
Coleman praised the Raiders offensive weapons and the athleticism each player possesses.
"It's amazing what the group of guys, from the wide receivers all the way down to the running backs, tight ends. They all are able to play every position it seems like. You see [Amari] Cooper, you see [Michael] Crabtree in the backfield at times, you see the running backs out at the number one spot at wide receiver. I mean, they put everybody in every single position and they create a lot of different types of mismatches. They're very athletic, all of them, and especially in space. When you give them space, they're able to do a lot of damage and I'm speaking for all of those guys."
He shared that he believes quarterback Derek Carr has been successful because of his decision making and his ability to limit turnovers.
I think what [Derek] Carr's been able to do, he's been able to just find the guys. He hasn't made a lot of bad decisions, which is why they've been so successful. He's not turning the ball over and it's given their offense, it's given everybody an opportunity to line up, get the first downs and then as they move down the field, their playmakers are making plays."
Coleman talked about the emergence of fullback Jamize Olawale and his performance against the Houston Texans.
"Well, when you look at a fullback running that fast, it's typically not in this day and age, especially when you talk about football, fullback's more of a stockier, bigger type. And, not to say that he's not, but he definitely has the speed and it surely showed against Houston. But really like I said, I feel like all of those guys are very athletic and that's why they're able fit them in a lot of different positions and create a lot of mismatches for the defenses."