The Ravens-Raiders matchup is a big one—for the Ravens. If the Ravens lose, they are likely out of the playoffs. The Raiders faced a similar situation last season when they eliminated Tampa Bay from playoff contention. Four of the Raiders' five wins have come against +.500 teams. Will the Raiders pull of the upset? Well, here are the top 10 questions going into the game...
The Ravens receivers are just as pitiful as ours. Derrick Mason is Joe Flacco's main target. If we take Mason out of the passing game, then that makes Baltimore one-conventional.
He probably will lace it up for the first time in four weeks. He's been out because of an injury. When healthy, he's the best safety—not named Polamalu—in the NFL. But can he be the ball hawk of old?
Last week at Cleveland, Bush received 10 carries for 52 yards. The week before he got 18 carries for 133 yards. The point is is that he needs to get the ball more. DMC should get the ball more as a receiver then a RB.
Ngata is an absolute nightmare to run against. He's 6'4" and 345 lbs. He's very agile and quick off the snap. If Ngata is able to get into the backfield consistently, then it will be a long day for the Raiders offense.
Carr is know much more for his kick returning then his CB work. He's about 5'9". If he covers Schilens, that's a big mismatch. If there's one area on defense they have really struggled in, it is their pass defense.
DMC has seemed to found his niche in the the slot. He had four receptions last week. The Raiders offense seems to flow better when DMC is lined up outside.
Stanford Routt (pictured) and Tony Stewart were ejected from the game last Sunday. Richard Seymour was also flagged for a penalty that prolonged a drive. No matter how frustrating the officals are, the Raiders have to keep their cool.
The Raiders still have big trouble stopping the run. Ray Rice is a strong and powerful runner. He doesn't have flashy speed, but he can make guys miss in the open field. If the Raiders don't have gap discipline, Ray Rice will have a monster game. The Raiders won't stop him, but they must try and contain him.
The Ravens made key penalty after key penalty against the Steelers last weekend. They lost because of it. If the Ravens repeat the same mistakes that they had last week, they won't win against the Raiders.
Joe Flacco hasn't played great football in the 2nd half of the season. He needs to step it up. If he wants to mentioned with the elites, he has to win the game for the Ravens. Last year, he had the defense to carry him. Not this year. I guess we'll find out a lot about Flacco in Week 17.
Charlie Frye, meanwhile, is trying to showcase himself for other teams. He threw for over 330 yards last week, but threw some key interceptions. He was terrible in the clutch. He looked like a rookie on his last interception. He has got to elevate his play to upset the Ravens