The PHK series continues, previewing the Week 4 matchup between the Oakland Raiders and the Baltimore Ravens.
The Raiders enter this weekend with a 2-1 record, tied for second in the AFC West and one game behind the 3-0 Denver Broncos. They face a stern test in another 3-0 team in the Baltimore Ravens, and have to travel across the country to Charm City to boot.
The Ravens defense is playing fast, aggressive, and smart. They are #2 in the NFL in total defense and look somewhat like the smothering units of the Ray Lewis/Ed Reed era.
On the other hand, the Raiders offense is ranked #2 in the NFL. Derek Carr has been spectacular in the young season, and the running game has been versatile, effective, and multi-faceted. It will be strength against strength — and more often than not, defense wins out in these battles.
The Raiders are under pressure early in this young season to keep winning. That’s because the Broncos (at Tampa Bay) and Chargers (vs. New Orleans) have very winnable games in which they’re favored. The Chiefs (at Pittsburgh) face a stern test but the Steelers looked infinitely beatable last week.
The AFC West teams are all playing well, even the 1-2 injury-riddled Chargers. The Raiders need to ride their recent road success into Baltimore and come out victorious.
Who’s under pressure this weekend? What are some things of note that have happened with the Raiders recently? What are some things we thought we knew that are wrong?
Let’s find out.