Oakland Raiders to improve against Baltimore Ravens

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Sep 13, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) runs down field and is chased by Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson (90) in the second quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Raiders’ 33-13 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals was a pretty stiff reality check for Raiders fans. They were reminded that the best time of year for Raider Nation has been the offseason lately. There’s a new coaching staff, good, young returning players, offseason acquisitions and high draft picks coming together. All of those things created optimism and expectations, but nobody was prepared for growing pains to begin the season for this roster.

All the talk about the return to greatness of the Raiders then the regular season starts and it’s back to reality. That reality hit hard on Sunday, reminding me of when they opened 2006 against the San Diego Chargers. They had all the hype with big-names Randy Moss and Warren Sapp with 2004 No. 1 pick Robert Gallery entering year three.

And they were promptly whipped by the Chargers to set up a 2-14 season with team and NFL records for total ineptitude. Even though we had the same type of hype and letdown Sunday, this year’s Raiders team isn’t that bad. Don’t expect the same type of game this Sunday because they can fix some things and play a good game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Turn the page for a closer look at why the Raiders will be better on Sunday even if they will be big underdogs to Baltimore.

Next: Cincinnati Bengals