Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 11/9/12
Few people likely had the Oakland Raiders at the top of their Super Bowl contenders list before the start of the season.Those that did probably reluctantly admitted that this is a "rebuilding" year since Oakland is in a hole and looking up from a 3-5 record. As the Raiders face a stiff Baltimore Ravens defense this week, we make three bold predictions about the outcome of the game.1. The Raiders' running game will decimate the Ravens - With Baltimore defensive cornerstone Ray Lewis out, the Ravens' defense isn't the same.The Oakland running backs will have a big day, just not the ones you're used to seeing. Last week against the Buccaneers, star Darren McFadden had a horrific seven carries for 17 yards. He and second-stringer Mike Goodson are likely out this week with ankle sprains. Look for speedy rookie Taiwan Jones to step up and make a statement in his first real opportunity.2. Oakland will contain explosive Ray Rice - The Raiders' defense was an embarrassment last week allowing a virtual unknown in Tampa running back Doug Martin to march over them for an astounding 251 yards. Ray Rice is a better back, but look for Oakland's defense to come out with a mean and nasty attitude and the sole intent of destroying the Ravens' rusing attack.3. The Raiders will pull out a win - Oakland has had at least one win against a quality opponent in the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 3. They also played well against unbeaten Atlanta and quarterback Carson Palmer made it a game last week against the Buccaneers with four touchdowns and 414 yards. Unfortunately, he also threw three interceptions and that really is the story of the Raiders this season. Oakland has a horrible tendency to beat themselves with pointless mistakes and foolish penalties.This week, look for the Raiders to make a rally for pride and to atone for last week's poor performance, eventually pulling out a squeaker of a win. 
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