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A look at the matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and Oakland Raiders

The Oakland Raiders return to the field on Sunday looking to improve on a difficult 33-13 defeat last week against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Raiders will be at home once again at O.Co Coliseum, hosting the Baltimore Ravens this time who also were defeated in their home opener. They fell to the Denver Broncos 19 to 13 on the road last week.

“Neither one of us won our opener, so you move onto the next game. ... You make your corrections, you learn from the experience that you had and then you go forward,” Del Rio said about the matchup. “That’s what you have to do in this league. This league is about next – the next play, the next series, the next game – and that’s where our focus will go. We’ll meet with our players in the morning, we’ll put this game behind us and move on to the next.”

Starting quarterback Derek Carr was knocked out of last week’s game during the first half with a hand injury, but Carr’s progress has progressed nicely throughout the week and is now listed as probable for the game.

Getting Carr back will be a boost to the offense despite struggling last week. The second-year quarterback finished just 7-of-12 for 61 yards. Carr will have to look out for cornerback Jimmy Smith, who picked off future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning for a pick-six last week. He will look to get wide receivers Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree more involved.

Donald Penn and the offensive line will have an easier time this week after linebacker Terrell Suggs suffered an Achilles injury in the opening week.

Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave must find a way to get running back Latavius Murray involved early after he was limited to just 11 carries for 44 yards. Establishing the run is crucial to the Raiders offense. The Raiders defense must improve though to give the team an opportunity to establish the run. Baltimore allowed 70 rushing yards on 24 carries last week.

With safeties Charles Woodson and Nate Allen both likely out for the game, there will be added stress on the linebackers and cornerbacks. Cornerback DJ Hayden and his fellow corners will need to keep close with the veteran Steve Smith, Sr. Smith caught just two passes for 13 yards last week, but he’s got the potential to beat the Raiders secondary.

Meanwhile, Curtis Lofton and the linebacker corps need to contain running back Justin Forsett who leads the Ravens rushing attack. The Raiders gave up 127 yards rushing last week, and will need to do better against the former Cal-Berkeley running back.

Second-year linebacker Khalil Mack and newly acquired Aldon Smith struggled to apply any pressure last week but hope to get to Joe Flacco this week. Baltimore’s offensive line did give up two sacks last weekend, and the Raiders will look to build on it.

The Raiders will head out on the road for the first time next week, leaving for Cleveland to take on the Browns.


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