Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/12/12
New Orleans at Oakland Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, at O.co Coliseum, Oakland, Calif. - TV: FOX; DirecTV: 713 *TV announcers: Dick Stockton, John Lynch, Jennifer Hale *Keys to the game: The Raiders had no threat of a running game with Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson out with ankle injuries last week. A one-dimensional offense finds the Saints at a bad time. New Orleans, once 0-4, is back to its winning ways by repairing what could've been fatal defensive flaws. The answer has been two-fold: penetration into the backfield, reducing time for quarterbacks to throw, and greatly improved team tackling. The Falcons had only 46 rushing yards (2.6-yard average) last week but did air it out with success. If the Raiders connect on big plays -- WR Darrius Heyward-Bey has catches of 32, 46, 55 and 59 yards in the past four games -- New Orleans would be stuck in soft coverage that plays into QB Carson Palmer's comfort zone of attacking outside the numbers on close-range passes. Saints QB Drew Brees and TE Jimmy Graham are flourishing again. Graham has 15 catches and three touchdowns in the past three games. If RB Darren Sproles (hand) misses a third straight game, the Saints can continue to rotate Mark Ingram and Chris Ivory, who've provided more of a jolt than expected with Sproles out. *Matchup to watch - Ivory vs. Raiders defense: Fumbling issues in training camp sank Ivory to the bottom of the depth chart. All of a sudden, he has leapfrogged Pierre Thomas with 17 carries for 110 yards over the past two weeks and a 56-yard touchdown run in Week 10. Paired with Ingram -- 111 yards in the past two games -- Ivory has added needed balance to the offense. *Player spotlight - Saints DE Cameron Jordan: The 6-4, 287-pound lineman is versatile enough to slide inside, can win with speed or power and has produced in bunches of late with five sacks and two forced fumbles in the past five games. *Fast facts: The Raiders have been outscored 109-31 in the third quarter this season. ... The Saints are attempting to become the second team to start 0-4 and make the playoffs (1992 Chargers). WHO WILL WIN AND WHY The Saints aren't going to win many games with their defense, but if the unit can return to a standard of not losing games, New Orleans' playoff push could be legitimate. *Our pick: Saints 32-29
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Kevin Love responds to Draymond Green’s ‘annihilation’ trash talk

Spike Lee deletes Instagram post saying Kaepernick signed with Seattle

Errol Spence is the real deal, takes down Kell Brook

Indians reveal Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field

Report: Jerry West considered rejoining the Lakers before they hired Magic Johnson

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

The NHL is thinking about hosting an outdoor game in Nashville

Michael Vick in talks to retire with Falcons

Hall of Fame pitcher and former U.S. Senator Jim Bunning passes away at 85

Roger Goodell to speak at Rams event, tickets start at $550

Ohio State hails itself as the ‘fastest team in college football’

Get a look at Shia LeBeouf as John McEnroe in Borg/McEnroe movie trailer

Journey to the Stanley Cup Final: Pittsburgh Penguins

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 5/26: Bring on the Finals

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

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

Journey to the Stanley Cup Final: Pittsburgh Penguins

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker