Week 5 features an important game between two 2-2 teams on losing streaks in the Oakland Raiders and the Baltimore Ravens. Here are five matchups to watch.
The stakes will be high in Oakland on Sunday afternoon, as the Oakland Raiders (2-2) will host the Baltimore Ravens (2-2) in a must-win Week 5 matchup. Both teams started the year out at a cool 2-0, but have since fallen on hard times.
Baltimore lost its best offensive player in guard Marshal Yanda for the season due to injury. He’s universally seen as one of the best interior linemen in football. On Sunday, Oakland saw its franchise quarterback Derek Carr go down with a transverse process fracture in his back. Carr is expected to miss two to six weeks with the injury.
While Baltimore has historically won with defense, its offensive ineptitude has gotten in the way of their on-field football success of late. Though the Raiders were as an offensive juggernaut to start the year, it has been the defense that has kept them in games.
Not wanting to go on a three-game slide, we should expect one of the better, more evenly matched games on Sunday. Here are the five man-on-man matchups that should have our intrigue when the Raiders host the Ravens in Week 5.
Cory James vs. Ben Watson
An underrated matchup we will need to pay attention to in Week 5 will be the one between Raiders linebacker Cory James and Ravens tight end Ben Watson. Though neither player is one of the best on their respective team, each have the ability to swing the game in their club’s favor with sound play.
Watson is a savvy veteran tight end that has shown he can rise to the occasion in moments of need in the passing game. He is a versatile tight end that does all the little things right to help his team contend for victories.
What sets him apart is that he’ll go on these hot streaks as a receiver in exploiting mismatches as a No. 2 tight end. Watson is a tight end that can have six catches for 100 yards and a touchdown and opposing defenses just aren’t sure how it happened.
One guy that has been key in the Raiders getting it right defensively is James. He has been a tackling machine in the middle of the Raiders defense. His ability to track the ball carrier or pass catcher has been huge in helping the Raiders win on third down and get off the field.