Something I typically like to do is check out stories and previews from the perspective of the writers who cover the team the Raiders will face that week. This week that means I've been reading a lot about the Baltimore Ravens.
From most reports this game is already a foregone conclusion. A game where the Raiders shouldn't even bother showing up for and a game that will give the Ravens their "rightful" place in the playoffs.
While I respectfully and optimistically disagree for many reasons I do see why some would think that is the case. However, at least one Baltimore Sun correspondent(and only one) thinks differently.
Ken Murray's prediction was Ravens 24 Raiders 21. His comment was this game is a lot tougher than it looks. Ken Murray is a smart man. This game will be tougher than it looks.
I know all the reasons why the Ravens are supposed to dominate on Sunday. The Ravens are motivated. The Raiders can't stop the run. The Raiders have nothing to play for. Charlie Frye is starting at quarterback. On and on and on!
It's easy to make assumptions based on statistical evidence. It's probably the best way to be correct on a regular basis. However, it does not guarantee certainty. If it did the Raiders would not have four wins against statistically superior teams.
This Sunday the Raiders will get a chance to decide several things. Pride and Poise will be tested. They will have a chance to alter the playoff landscape. They might even have a chance to alter their own futures and the futures of their coaching staff.
I don't think they'll lay down. I think they'll rise up. I think we may just see the best performance we've seen all year. I think much like last year, which is very frustrating I might add, they will have saved the best for last!
I think Ken Murray is a smart man. I think he might have accidentally flip-flopped the score though. Raiders 24 Ravens 21.
Or maybe he and I are both idiots! We'll see on Sunday!