Week 10: Oakland Raiders At Baltimore Ravens

Oakland Raiders v San Diego Chargers
AFC Championship - Baltimore Ravens v New England Patriots
Carson Palmer is starting to hit his stride for the Raiders, and that means they are developing a fairly exciting passing game. Palmer was forced to go to the air 61 times against the Bucs and he threw for 414 yards while throwing 4 TD passes. Palmer would be better off if he had a complementary running game, but he proved he could stand in the pocket and take the abuse while making plays.
Winner Joe Flacco is a legitimate quarterback who wants to prove he belongs with the elite players at his position in the league. Flacco is coming off an ordinary game in the Ravens’ road win over Cleveland. While he did not light it up, he did not throw an interception and his fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Torrey Smith was the difference in the game.
Running back Darren McFadden is probably the key to the Raiders offense because he runs hard every play. The Raiders took a big blow when McFadden had to come out of the game after seven carries with an ankle injury. While X-rays were negative, he may not be at his best against the Ravens. Wide receivers Denarius Moore and Darius Heyward-Bey are solid targets for Palmer
Winner While the Ravens have solid receivers in Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith, the offense is largely dependent on the play of Ray Rice. He’s one of the toughest and most dynamic running backs in the league. Boldin is a fine possession receiver while Smith can go downfield and make big plays.
The Raiders struggled against the Tampa Bay offense. The biggest issue was their inability to stop the run, as rookie Doug Martin punished them for 251 yards and 4 touchdowns. If they can get battered like that by Martin, how will they hang in there with Baltimore’s Rice. Defensive lineman Richard Seymour has to do a better job.
Winner The Ravens have several defensive issues, not the least of which is the absence of middle linebacker Ray Lewis. While that’s obviously a problem, some Ravens are stepping up. Keep your eye on young cornerback Cary Lewis who had an interception against the Browns and also led the Ravens with 6 tackles. Ed Reed once again had an interception and he has to be accounted for on every play.
Special Teams
Winner Sebastian Janikowski is not ready to give up his unofficial title of the kicker with the strongest leg just yet. He has made 19-of-20 field goal attempts this season. Shane Lechler averaged 54.5 yards on four punts against the Bucs.
The Ravens are hoping for steady play from steady play from special teams after last year’s nightmarish experience with placekicker Billy Cundiff. Head coach John Harbaugh is getting just what he needs as kicker Justin Tucker has made 15-of-16 field goal attempts this season.

The Winner Is

AFC Championship - Baltimore Ravens v New England Patriots
Winner Ravens
3 out of 4

This looks like it should be an easy game for the Ravens since they are playing at home against a team that struggles to scratch out its wins. However, Palmer is throwing the ball well and the Raiders have weapons. If the Ravens don’t play their best game, they could struggle and this game could be an upset possibility.


  1. MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 9: Quarterback Brock Osweiler #17 of the Houston Texans drops back to pass during the first quarter of the game on October 9, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) SAN DIEGO, CA - OCTOBER 13:  Trevor Siemian #13 of the Denver Broncos warms up before the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on October 13, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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  2. SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 16:  Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks passes against the Atlanta Falcons at CenturyLink Field on October 16, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 17:  Quarterback Carson Palmer #3 of the Arizona Cardinals looks to make a pass against the New York Jets in the first half of the NFL game at University of Phoenix Stadium on October 17, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
    Week 7 Tale Of The Tape: Seattle Seahawks At Arizona Cardinals

    The Seahawks face their NFC West foe on the road as the Cardinals look to get above .500 for the first time this season.

  3. FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 16:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots prepares to receive a snap during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Gillette Stadium on October 16, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Quarterback  Landry Jones #3 of the Pittsburgh Steelers throws a pass during warm ups before playing against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on September 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
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