Raiders-Ravens preview

Raiders-Ravens preview
November 10, 2012, 11:30 am
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Harbaugh Exclusive: 50th career victory a milestone

(Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE)

Ravens vs. Raiders
at M&T Bank Stadium, 1 p.m. ET

The line: Ravens -9.

Last week: Ravens (6-2) beat the Cleveland Browns 25-15; Raiders (3-5) lost 42-32 to the Tampa Bay Bucs.

Series: Ravens lead, 6-1. The Raiders' only victory was Dec. 14, 2003, 20-12.

Last meeting: Ravens won 21-13 in a regular season game on Jan. 3, 2010.
Burning question: Will Joe Flacco return to form at home, where he has played like a top QB early in the season, or continue his streak of four consecutive games with less than 240 yards passing and 56.2% completion rate?

Keys to victory on offense: Without DT Richard Seymour, the Raiders will have even more trouble stuffing the run or pressuring Flacco. The Ravens found something last week with RBs Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce. Expect them to use the same formula, though Rice likely won't need 25 carries in this one. That should mean more work for the rookie, Pierce. The Raiders play a lot of zone coverages, which is good news for TEs Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson. They need to get involved in the offense again and this is the game to do it. These factors should loosen up the Raiders underneath should open up the deep ball again for Flacco.

Keys to victory on defense: The Ravens bottled up the run in the second half last week against Cleveland's Trent Richardson. With the Raiders missing their two best runners, anything less than a four-quarter shutdown would be a disappointment. QB Carson Palmer threw 61 times last week and has thrown fewer than 33 passes only once. The retooled Ravens secondary with CBs Cary Williams, Jimmy Smith and Corey Graham.

Injury report: RAVENS -- Out: DE Pernell McPhee (thigh); Questionable: DT Haloti Ngata (shoulder), G Bobbie Williams (ankle), G Marshal Yanda (ankle); Probable: LB Josh Bynes (thigh), S Sean Considine (chest), LS Morgan Cox (shoulder), LB Dannell Ellerbe (finger),  WR Jacoby Jones (toe), DT Ma'ake Kemoeatu (knee), T Michael Oher (ankle), S Bernard Pollard (chest), S Ed Reed (shoulder/knee), CB Jimmy Smith (abs), LB Terrell Suggs (ankle).

RAIDERS -- Out: RB Darren McFadden (ankle), RB Mike Goodson (ankle), DT Richard Seymour (knee/hamstring), CB Shawntae Spencer (foot); Questionable: T Khalif Barnes (groin); Probable: T Willie Smith (knee), FB Marcel Reece (hamstring), TE Richard Gordon (hamstring), TE Brandon Myers (shoulder), K Sebastian Janikowski (groin), LB Miles Burris (elbow), LB Keenan Clayton (shoulder), DT Desmond Bryant (cardiac), DE Matt Shaughnessy (shoulder), DE David Tollefson (shoulder), CB Coye Francies (thumb), S Mike Mitchell (finger), S Matt Giordano (hamstring).

Prediction: Ravens 34-17.