The Oakland Raiders may have the toughest task of week six in the NFL, having to come off a bye week and go to Atlanta to take on the undefeated Falcons, who continue to ride high at 5-0.
Atlanta is off to its best start in its history, and with Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, Roddy White and Julio Jones, the team looks like a legit Super Bowl contender in the NFC.
“It is a great start for us, it really is,” said Ryan, who has completed 68.3 percent of his passes for 1,507 yards with 13 touchdowns and three interceptions. “At this point, you can’t really worry about what is going on in the history of our organization, but we have put ourselves right where we need to be five games into it.”
Atlanta has room to improve, and last week had to sweat out a 24-17 win over the Redskins, but that’s what good teams do, win when they don’t always play their best.
This could be an ugly game from the start, as the 1-3 Raiders are 30th in scoring defense at 31.2 points per game and 25th in total defense at 411.5 yards a contest. The Raiders have been outscored 72-19 in their two road losses to Miami and Denver.
If the Raiders are going to compete in this one, they need running back Darren McFadden to have a good game, he rushed for 113 yards with a TD in a 34-31 win over Pittsburgh on Sept. 23, but he’s gained 88 yards with no scores in the three losses.
Atlanta boasts one of the best secondaries in the game, and Carson Palmer has to be careful not to turn into a turnover machine giving the Falcons short fields.
Overall Oakland is allowing opponents to complete 71.5 percent of their passes. Oakland has recorded only three sacks and forced three turnovers, and the secondary has been decimated by injuries to the point that safety Michael Huff has had to play cornerback.
This one has all signs pointing to a blowout, and while the fresh Raiders off the bye may stick around for about the first 25 minutes, expect the Falcons to have an easy path to 6-0.
Atlanta 34 Oakland 14