Oakland Raiders to improve against Baltimore Ravens

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Sep 13, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals receiver A.J. Green (18) is defended by Oakland Raiders cornerback Neiko Thorpe (31) in the second quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Bengals

Being hopeful is okay, but no one should have expected the Raiders to beat the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals have been to the playoffs the three years in a row, telling us they are a good team. They swept the Baltimore Ravens last year too so not only are they better but they’re a different matchup for the Raiders.

I like receiver Steve Smith but he’s no longer in his prime so A.J. Green is noticeably better. Running back Jeremy Hill is off to a great start with over 1.000 yards as a rookie and Justin Forsett has done in once and it took him seven years. And they don’t have a tight end on that roster that’s anything like Tyler Eifert. All of those things make the Bengals a tougher offensive matchup for the Raiders than the Ravens.

I’ll give the Ravens the inside linebacker position but they don’t have defensive lineman like Geno Atkins. They also don’t have Terrell Suggs rushing off the edge along with Elvis Dumervil to make pass protection easier. The Raiders are a new collection of players and coaches to so the one game under their belts gives them a clue of what the can and need to do.

Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson told the Fox’s broadcasting crew, “I have a game-plan for him [Khalil Mack].” And he did with running backs chipping Mack from the outside and guards helping inside. Plus he dialed up short to intermediate passes that didn’t give the Raiders pass rush time to get there while the Ravens like to throw deep.

Next: Start Aldon Smith