In the AFC it doesn't get much tougher than the New England Patriots. Here are the five Oakland Raiders who need to step up going forward.
According to sources, Raiders starting free safety Michael Huff suffered a concussion in Week 3 and his status for Week 4 is up in the air.
Assuming Huff misses any time at all, Matt Giordano will need to step up in his place.
Giordano has played pretty well in 2011 recording a total of 16 tackles, an interception, a forced fumble and a pass deflected.
If Giordano is thrown into the lineup against the Patriots, he better be prepared as the Patriots will try to take advantage.
It seems as if after every Raider game we will here about some injury that Darren McFadden has suffered.
McFadden suffered a groin injury in Week 3, although the Raiders fully expect the NFL leading rusher to go in Week 4 against the Patriots.
Michael Bush has averaged seven carries through the first three weeks, but he should expect to see the ball a lot more.
His 3.6 YPC certainly leaves something to be desired. Bush will need to step up as the Raiders will likely limit McFadden's touches going forward. Keeping McFadden healthy is essential to the Raider's success.
Tight end Kevin Boss finally returned from injury in Week 3 and posted two catches for 36 yards.
The importance of Boss in the Raider's offense is huge. He is a very good blocker and must make an impact in the passing game.
Boss is not an elite tight end, but he can certainly make plays. With only two targets in Week 3, expect Boss to get more involved in Week 4.
With so many injuries and lack of a true number one receiver, Boss is vital to the Raider's offense as both a receiver and a blocker.
2011 third-round pick DeMarcus Van Dyke has not seen the field that often in 2011 and missed Week 3 with a knee injury.
Starting conrnerback Chris Johnson was getting over a groin injury heading into Week 3 and suffered a hamstring injury during the game against the Jets.
If Chris Johnson is unable to go in Week 4, Van Dyke will be needed as the secondary is dealing with a slew of injuries.
Van Dyke has blazing speed, but is largely inexperienced. He has only recorded one tackle on the year and going up against the Patriots high flying passing attack is no easy task.
Jacoby Ford has missed each of the past two games with a hamstring injury, and the passing offense for the Raiders has missed his presence.
All the while it has opened a door for Denarius Moore. Moore has recorded nine receptions for 180 yards and a touchdown so far in 2011.
The Raiders rank 26th in the NFL with only 190 passing yards a game. Ford is a big play waiting to happen and is a huge part the Raiders offense.
With Nick Miller returning kicks and punts, the Raiders could certainly use Ford as a return man. Ford had three returns for touchdowns in 2011.