Fresh off a bye week, the Raiders will bring their 28th-ranked pass defense into the Georgia Dome to take on a Falcons offense that ranks No. 7 in passing yards.
Let's take a look at what you need to know entering Sunday's contest between Oakland and Atlanta.
Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta
When: Sunday, Oct. 14 at 1 p.m. ET
Watch: CBS or NFL Sunday Ticket
Listen: LIVE 105 (KITS 105.3 FM) (Oakland) or 790AM and Star 94 (Atlanta)
Betting Line: Falcons (-9) per Bovada
What's At Stake?
At stake for the Falcons is a perfect 6-0 record and a chance to extend their already large division lead in the NFC South.
For the Raiders, they find themselves third in the division entering Sunday, trailing the Denver Broncos and the San Diego Chargers. A win this weekend would put Oakland right in the middle of contention in the AFC West.
Injury Report: (via CBS Sports)
OAK WR Darrius Heyward-Bey: Concussion/Neck, Questionable
ATL FB Lousaka Polite: Hamstring, Questionable
ATL LB Stephen Nicholas: Ankle, Questionable
Fantasy Start 'Em, Sit 'Em and Sleeper
Start 'Em: Roddy White
The Falcons boast a dominant passing game, with the likes of Julio Jones, Tony Gonzalez and, of course, Roddy White.
White Ranks second on the team in receptions (31) and touchdowns (three) and first in yards (481), and has the most fantasy points (per ESPN Standard Leagues) of the guys being targeted by Matt Ryan.
Sit 'Em: Carson Palmer
Palmer has a tough matchup this week, going up against the seventh-best defense in terms of passing yardage.
On top of that, the Atlanta D ranks second in the NFL with nine interceptions, making Palmer a risky option in your fantasy lineup. Start searching the waiver wire, as Kevin Kolb and Alex Smith are better options in Week 6.
Sleeper: Brandon Myers
Believe it or not, Raiders TE Brandon Myers leads Oakland in receiving yards and receptions.
What's more impressive is the fact that Myers has 16 receptions on 17 targets, which means he's a reliable receiver for Palmer.
I'm not expecting a big day out of the Raiders offense, but you can expect this guy to be involved.
What They're Saying
The buzz in Atlanta revolves around the perfect start to the season, which the Atlanta Daily mirrors:
Atlanta Falcons improve to 5-0 for first time in team historysns.mx/Isf3y7— Atlanta Daily (@AtlantaDaily) October 7, 2012
But as head coach Mike Smith told CBS Atlanta, the Falcons are looking to sustain this success and bring it into the winter months.
We want to sustain this not just from game to game, but season to season. We want to be a relevant football team in the months of December and January. That's what we really want to do as an organization.
It's certainly been an impressive start for the undefeated Falcons, but they'll need to make a deep playoff run in order to cement themselves as a dominant team in the NFC.
As for Oakland, the conversation surrounding the Raiders is the fact that their defense has yet to intercept an opposing QB's pass, according to Jerry McDonald of The Oakland Tribune.
Head coach Dennis Allen wants his 1-3 Raiders to start playing defensive football:
We call them takeaways, which means that we control them. It's not like the offense gives us the ball. We go out and take it away from them. There are things we can do...We've got to have 11 people flying around to the football like their hair's on fire. That's the way you play defensive football. It's been that way since the beginning of time, and it won't change.
Further, the Raiders will be playing with added emotion this Sunday, given the fact that its the one-year anniversary since the passing of Al Davis.
Oakland's official Twitter page paid tribute to Davis:
We remember Al Davis, who passed away one year ago today: raiders.com— OAKLAND RAIDERS (@RAIDERS) October 8, 2012
Raiders Player to Watch
Anytime Darren McFadden takes the field, he's someone to keep an eye on. The Falcons D ranks No. 27 against the run, something McFadden will be looking to take advantage of this weekend.
Though he has just one 100-yard day and one TD this season, McFadden could be in for a breakout game on Sunday at Atlanta.
Falcons Player to Watch
There are too many Falcons players to watch, but none more exciting than second-year wideout Julio Jones.
Jones' athleticism is enough to keep you tuned in, but his four receiving touchdowns and five plays of 20 yards or more should be effective against an Oakland defense that's weak against the pass.
I'm looking at Julio Jones and Roddy White vs. Pat Lee and Joselio Hanson.
Jones and White have emerged as one of the deadliest WR tandems in the league, and against a Raiders defense that has yet to record an interception, they could be in for a big day.
Atlanta will be looking to attack through the air, and if Oakland stands a chance on Sunday, this is the matchup it has to key in on.
On the Hot Seat
While I don't think his job is on the line as of yet, Dennis Allen is the coach of a 1-3 under-performing team.
I think he'll be graded on whether he can field a competitive team each week, but following that dismal Week 4 loss to the Broncos, a blowout loss in Week 6 will create some buzz in Oakland.
It's going to be all Atlanta on Sunday.
The Raiders showed in Week 4 that they have no answer against a solid passing attack, and with a better receiving corps than the Broncos, Atlanta looks like it's in for a big day on Sunday.
Falcons 31, Raiders 13
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