Originally written on The Saints Nation  |  Last updated 11/8/14
I'm trying to contain my confidence despite the fact that the Tampa Bay Bucs and Baltimore Ravens just poured 42 and 55 respectively on this Raiders defense. But when two decent offenses break the 40 barrier, you have to feel decent about the Saints doing it, right? On top of that, the Raiders' top two backs, Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson, aren't practicing as they continue to battle high ankle sprains. The Saints are such heavyweight favorites, they are almost destined to lose. I think the Max Hall led Cardinals, Colt McCoy led Browns, and A. J. Feeley led Rams should serve as painful reminders that the statistically worst defense is NFL history can never assume a victory under any circumstance. If you've been a fan the last five years you know exactly what I'm talking about. So let's stop short of assuming victory, but take a closer look at how the Saints can take advantage of mismatches. OFFENSE The Raiders feature Carson Palmer at quarterback who has really racked up substantial yardage in the passing game. Much of that is playing from behind which causes them to throw every play, but Palmer has gotten hot at times. The Raiders are currently 5th in the NFL in passing, with tight end Brandon Myers leading the team in receptions. Darrius Heyward-Bey is the explosive deep threat that stretches the field and is making big plays, and Denarius Moore has been playing extremely well too. Palmer does a good job of spreading the ball around and keeping all his targets involved, but he will make mistakes and turn it over. The Raiders running game is in shambles with the injuries. They rank 31st in total rushing yards and 31st is yards per carry, only getting 3.5 yards a pop. The offensive line has been poor for them, particularly at right tackle where Willie Smith has been a disaster. Cam Jordan should be licking his chops. Center Stefen Wisniewski is a decent player but the rest of the line is very up and down. If there's any offense the Saints can stop, this could be it. Still, the Raiders can throw the rock and have some explosive playmakers, so the biggest fear is getting consistently gashed, per usual, in the passing game. This could also be Spagnuolo's coming out party, though, because the Raiders are so one dimensional with Goodson and McFadden out.  DEFENSE The Raiders are 21st against the run, 24th against the pass, and 31st in points given up. They've played very poorly on defense, like the Saints, and they've been giving up even more points. The last two weeks as mentioned previously have been a horror show with 97 points yielded in 8 quarters. Their best player, nose tackle Richard Seymour, has been battling a hamstring issue and he may be out of this game as well. He's missed all practices so far this week and that's a big blow for the Raiders. Sarting safeties Tyvon Branch and Matt Giordano haven't practiced this week either, so you get the idea, the Raiders are really banged up. Without Seymour, who has 3 sacks, the rest of the team has mustered just 8 sacks this season. Getting to Brees won't be easy and because of that the Saints' offensive line should dominate in protection. Corner Michael Huff is decent, but the other corners have been very up and down, so covering the Saints' plethora of weapons will be near impossible. The Raiders do have decent linebackers in Rolando McClain and Philip Weaver. Overall, though, this is a huge mismatch on paper. The Saints should be able to do whatever they want if they execute properly and don't hurt themselves. The only thing that stands in the way of a huge output for the Saints are penalties, turnovers and mental mistakes. SPECIAL TEAMS The Sebastian Janikowski/Shane Lechler combo is outstanding. Give the Raiders credit, they have a great kicker and an even better punter. When they make mistakes, though, their coverage units on horrible. Too bad because even if Sproles is cleared to play I doubt he'll be able to handle special teams. The Raiders' return game isn't a big threat, so that should be a walk in the park for Thomas Morstead.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Mayweather beats Pacquiao by unanimous decision

Manny Pacquiao after loss: 'I thought I won the fight'

Did Evan Mathis respond to Chip Kelly's slight with barb?

WATCH: American Pharoah wins Kentucky Derby

Report: Rams trade RB Zac Stacy to Jets

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Falcons draft pick's house burned down during draft

Packers trade up to draft Brett Hundley

Greg Hardy apologizes for joke about 9/11

Mayweather bans Rachel Nichols, Michelle Beadle from covering fight

Five takeaways from Day 2 of the 2015 NFL Draft

Elite recruit Jaylen Brown commits to California

Clippers beat Spurs on Chris Paul shot in Game 7

Jimmy Kimmel's Manny Pacquiao T-shirt goes viral

Big fight packs airport, leaves no room for planes

Pete Carroll discusses Russell Wilson's contract status

Jim Harbaugh not happy Lou Holtz is out at ESPN

Cubs fans want Harry Caray video for seventh inning stretch

Winners and losers from the NFL draft

Brooklyn Decker expecting first child with Andy Roddick

Michigan using other programs' draftees to recruit players?

Texas staffer takes shots at Baylor, Texas A&M during draft

Rob Gronkowski wears awesome suit to Kentucky Derby

WATCH: Bryce Petty reacts to being drafted by the Jets

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Winners and losers from the NFL draft

Report: Zac Stacy traded to Jets

Hardy apologizes for joke about 9/11

Jerry Jones sends letter to Pacquiao

Mayweather bans Beadle, Nichols

WATCH: A-Rod fights back tears

A-Rod hits 660th home run, ties Willie Mays

Mayweather vs. Pacquiao: Celebrities make their picks

Ryan Succop offers to arm-wrestle Marcus Mariota for No. 8

Laila Ali rips Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Peterson wants more money from Vikes

Chip Kelly just doesn’t care about defense

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.