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Raiders vs. Saints preview: Oakland and New Orleans headed in opposite directions

The Oakland Raiders find themselves at their lowest point heading into a game against the New Orleans Saints at their hight point.

Patrick Smith

The Oakland Raiders have gone from a high point this season with back to back wins over the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Kansas City Chiefs, to a low point with a tough loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and a blowout to the Baltimore Ravens. Meanwhile, the New Orleans Saints have gone 4-1 over the past five weeks with their only loss coming to what has turned out to be a strong Denver Broncos team. This weekend, the Saints will travel to Oakland with their sights set on .500 and making a playoff run while Oakland's sights will be set on just trying to finish the season with some respect.

The Saints and Drew Brees have got to be licking their chops at the prospect of playing the Raiders this weekend, while the Raiders know that there is a strong likelihood that Brees picks them apart with the greatest of ease on Sunday. All season long, the Raiders secondary has struggled due to injuries and a simple lack of talent, and those struggles were at their worst when they were blown out by the Ravens. The Raiders will hope to come back strong against the pass like they did holding Ray Rice relatively in check after allowing Doug Martin to run all over them the week before. The problem with that is, the Raiders have much more talent in their front seven than they do in their secondary.

On offense, one can only expect more of the same from the Raiders. It does not appear that the running game is going to be fixed this season, and Carson Palmer is going to have to continue to carry the Raiders offense on his shoulders. The Raiders have also continued to have big time issues holding onto the ball, and once again are playing a team that will make them pay for their turnover problems.

From here on out, the Raiders will be playing primarily to preserve some of their dignity, but unfortunately for them, another butt whooping may be just around the corner.