Originally written on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 10/13/12
Coming off their bye week, the Oakland Raiders travel to the Georgia Dome to take on the undefeated Atlanta Falcons. With a 1-3 record, Oakland needs to string wins together before they are already in too much of a hole. They spent the bye week trying to correct their early season mistakes and find the best 11 players on offense and defense. Atlanta will be a huge test for the Raiders especially with their 28-5 home record with Matt Ryan as the starting quarterback.

The blueprint for the Raiders to be competitive and pull off the upset is establishing the run. In the one game Oakland was able to rush for more than 100 yards, they won. Running back Darren McFadden is one of the most dangerous weapons in the NFL. If the Raiders can get him going, they can effectively manage the clock, keeping the Falcons high powered offense off the field and create manageable third down situations to extend drives.

Through the first four games quarterback Carson Palmer has thrown for 1081 yards, five touchdowns and only two interceptions. The Falcons have a fast, aggressive defense that thrives on turnovers. With the game plan to run the ball on Atlanta's 27th ranked run defense, Palmer will look for play action opportunities on the outside. Both Darrius Heyward-Bey and Denarius Moore will be on the field Sunday, giving Palmer his best wide receiver combination. The offensive line is still missing starting right tackle Khalif Barnes, but has had the time to play as a unit for two weeks of games and gel during the bye.

On defense, the Raiders will attempt to slow down a face paced, efficient Falcon's offense. Quarterback Matt Ryan has become very comfortable is this system to the tune of 13 touchdowns to three interceptions. He will be throwing to one of the best wide receiver tandems of Julio Jones and Roddy White as well as a future Hall Of Famer, tight end Tony Gonzalez. The only way the Raiders have a chance to give the Falcons problems is with pressure on Ryan. With only three sacks this season, the Raiders front four has been a giant disappointment. They will need to show up in this game to pressure Ryan, or Oakland is in for a long day with their depleted secondary.

 



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