Smith and Amerson Will Be Tested
Against Tennessee, Raiders cornerbacks Sean Smith and David Amerson put together elite performances, holding the Titans’ top two outside receivers (Tajae Sharpe and Rishard Matthews) to a combined six receptions for just 80 yards.
Smith and Amerson will face much tougher matchups in Baltimore.
Future Hall of Fame receiver Steve Smith Sr. doesn’t have the speed and quickness that aided him early in his career, but his knowledge of the game and sheer experience benefits him significantly as a route runner. In solid man coverage, Smith Sr. will have a hard time creating separation at times; however, if he recognizes zone coverage early, he will regularly find space in the open holes within the zone.
Veteran receiver Mike Wallace, on the other hand, is a big play waiting to happen because of his elite top speed. Unlike Smith Sr., Wallace doesn’t have a polished route tree, but his ‘nine’ route will kill Oakland if they aren’t able to shut him down over the top.
Smith Sr. and Wallace have combined for 26 receptions for 236 yards and three touchdowns (all three touchdowns going to Wallace).
Because Norton Jr. will already have his hands full with Pitta in the middle of the field, Smith and Amerson could see a lot of one-on-one coverage outside of the hashes, so it will be up them to either crumble beneath the challenge or rise to the occasion.
Let’s hope for the latter.
Prediction: Raiders 23; Ravens 20