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Raiders vs. Ravens preview: Oakland must bounce back from tough loss quickly with Ravens looming large

The Oakland Raiders are coming off of a heartbreaking loss but cannot wallow as they travel to Baltimore this week.

Ezra Shaw

The Oakland Raiders could have beaten the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Oakland last weekend. They could have improved their record to .500 and kept themselves firmly entrenched in the AFC West division race. The Raiders could have shown that after a rough start to the season, they are improved and ready to compete at a high level. Instead of all that, the Raiders shot themselves squarely in the foot and walked away from Sunday's game empty handed. Despite what could have been had the Raiders won, there is no time to wallow because the Raiders must take on the AFC East power house Baltimore Ravens in Baltimore next weekend.

While the Ravens had endured their fare share of injuries this season, they are still one of the better teams in the NFL, with only two losses coming into this weekend. Additionally, the Raiders have had more than their fair share of injuries, including injuries to their top two running backs, Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson, suffered in their loss to the Bucs last weekend. The Raiders have struggled offensively this season, and losing their top two running backs does not bode well for the Raiders as they take on a strong Baltimore defense.

Even when expectations of the Raiders were at their highest before the season began, no one expected this week's match up with the Ravens to be one that the Raiders could walk away from with a win. But after the way the season has unfolded so far, the Raiders' expectations have to have gone from bad to worse. At this point, the Raiders will just be looking to make sure they are not embarassed by the Ravens. Keeping the game close and respectable is about all the Raiders can hope for at this point.