Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE
The Oakland Raiders will have to play one of their best games of the season just to stay in the game with the Ravens.
The Oakland Raiders lost what little hope of a post season they had left when Doug Martin and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ran all over them last weekend. The Raiders were coming off of back to back wins, including a dominant win over the Kansas City Chiefs the week before. Both of those teams, however, had very weak offenses and when the Raiders took on the talented Bucs offense, their defense was exposed. If the Raiders thought stopping Doug Martin was hard, they are going to hate trying to stop Ray Rice and the Baltimore Ravens this weekend.
The Raiders defense is still having major difficulties stopping a legitimate run game and Ray Rice is one of the best all around backs in the entire league. He has big play capabilities in both the run and the pass game and can easily carry the team on his back against a defense like the Raiders'. The Ravens don't have the greatest passing game, but it is more than good enough to take advantage of the Raiders' depleted secondary. The defense for the Raiders will likely have a very difficult time stopping the Ravens.
On the other side of the ball, the Raiders continue to turn the ball over, and the Ravens have continued to be one of the best defenses in the NFL even though they has had injury problems all season. After a solid day for the run game in Kansas City, the Raiders run game disappeared once again against the Bucs last weekend. The fact that the Raiders' first and second string running backs suffered ankle injuries and are highly unlikely to play this week certainly doesn't help matters. Carson Palmer will once again have to carry the Raiders offense, but unless he stops turning the all over, all of the yards he has been putting up are worth nothing.
The Raiders do not match up well agains the Ravens and will have to play their best just to stay in the game on Sunday. It also doesn't help that the Raiders are coming off of a heart breaking loss and have to travel across the country. Needless to say, it could be a very long day for the Raiders.