Raiders vs. Ravens key matchup: Raiders must not let Ray Rice run wild

On Sunday, the Raiders completely failed to stop Tampa Bay running back Doug Martin as he had a career day, rushing for 251 yards and four touchdowns. This week the Raiders face a running back who is even better than Martin: Baltimore's Ray Rice.

Rice is the engine that makes the Ravens offense run smoothly. QB Joe Flacco is rising to an elite status, but without Rice this offense wouldn't be nearly as good. Rice has rushed for 622 yards and six touchdowns so far this year and he will be seeking to kick the Raiders defense while it is down. The Ravens offensive line is tough and effective with excellent players such as Michael Oher and Marshal Yanda. They collectively excel at both run and pass blocking. They certainly have the ability to shut down the Raiders' defensive line, so it may be up to Miles Burris and the rest of the linebackers to stop Rice this week.

Martin is a rookie and had never had a professional game like he had in Week 9 so he may have been underestimated, but Rice has a history of success and he will be targeted by the defense. If they can slow Rice at all, Flacco will be forced to try to air it out. While that is not necessarily a disadvantage for Baltimore, it's better for Oakland than Rice gashing them all day long.

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