TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 10: Oakland Raiders At Baltimore Ravens

Raiders
Ravens
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Oakland Raiders
Baltimore Ravens v Cleveland Browns
Quarterback
Carson Palmer is starting to hit his stride for the Raiders, and that means they are developing a fairly exciting passing game. Palmer was forced to go to the air 61 times against the Bucs and he threw for 414 yards while throwing 4 TD passes. Palmer would be better off if he had a complementary running game, but he proved he could stand in the pocket and take the abuse while making plays.
Winner Joe Flacco is a legitimate quarterback who wants to prove he belongs with the elite players at his position in the league. Flacco is coming off an ordinary game in the Ravens’ road win over Cleveland. While he did not light it up, he did not throw an interception and his fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Torrey Smith was the difference in the game.
Offense
Running back Darren McFadden is probably the key to the Raiders offense because he runs hard every play. The Raiders took a big blow when McFadden had to come out of the game after seven carries with an ankle injury. While X-rays were negative, he may not be at his best against the Ravens. Wide receivers Denarius Moore and Darius Heyward-Bey are solid targets for Palmer.
Winner While the Ravens have solid receivers in Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith, the offense is largely dependent on the play of Ray Rice. He’s one of the toughest and most dynamic running backs in the league. Boldin is a fine possession receiver while Smith can go downfield and make big plays.
Defense
The Raiders struggled against the Tampa Bay offense. The biggest issue was their inability to stop the run, as rookie Doug Martin punished them for 251 yards and 4 touchdowns. If they can get battered like that by Martin, how will they hang in there with Baltimore’s Rice. Defensive lineman Richard Seymour has to do a better job.
Winner The Ravens have several defensive issues, not the least of which is the absence of middle linebacker Ray Lewis. While that’s obviously a problem, some Ravens are stepping up. Keep your eye on young cornerback Cary Lewis who had an interception against the Browns and also led the Ravens with 6 tackles. Ed Reed once again had an interception and he has to be accounted for on every play.
Special Teams
Winner Sebastian Janikowski is not ready to give up his unofficial title of the kicker with the strongest leg just yet. He has made 19-of-20 field goal attempts this season. Shane Lechler averaged 54.5 yards on four punts against the Bucs.
The Ravens are hoping for steady play from steady play from special teams afterlast year’s nightmarish experience with placekicker Billy Cundiff. Head coach John Harbaugh is getting just what he needs as kicker Justin Tucker has made 15-of-16 field goal attempts this season.

The Winner Is

Baltimore Ravens v Cleveland Browns
Winner Ravens
3 out of 4

This looks like it should be an easy game for the Ravens since they are playing at home against a team that struggles to scratch out its wins. However, Palmer is throwing the ball well and the Raiders have weapons. If the Ravens don’t play their best game, they could struggle and this game could be an upset possibility.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Miami Dolphins At New York Jets

    The Dolphins have played solid football throughout the season, and they had a fourth-quarter lead on the Broncos before getting hit hard in the final 15 minutes.

  2. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Denver Broncos At Kansas City Chiefs

    Peyton Manning struggled during much of the Broncos’ three-game losing streak and for nearly a half in Week 12 against Miami, but the Broncos offense finally came together and Manning started dominating once again.

  3. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: New England Patriots At Green Bay Packers

    The Patriots continue to play sensational football as they took apart a good Detroit Lions team to stretch their winning streak to seven games.

See All Tales of the Tape
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 33,989 other followers