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

Rob Manfred: No significant rule changes in 2017, blames MLBPA

Report: Zach Britton has potential oblique injury

The Rock returns to WWE, leaves CM Punk a voicemail after 'Raw'

After outfield collision, Ichiro pranks teammate and claims he’s been cut

Simeon Rice gets vulgar with radio host over HOF debate

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Ronda Rousey to be guest star on NBC’s ‘Blindspot’

Lakers replace Jim Buss with Magic Johnson, fire Kupchak

Report: James Harrison, Steelers share mutual interest in 2017 return

Jimmy Garoppolo’s mom keeping him up to speed on his trade rumors

Report: Clippers intent on keeping both Blake Griffin, Chris Paul

Slam dunks and startups: How all-star technology took over the NBA in The Big Easy

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Box Score 2/21: It's trade heartbreak season

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Movies you can stream now to get your football fix

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

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win 100 games with two different teams

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

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