Game time: 4:05 p.m., Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
TV: CBS/WJZ (Ch. 13)
TV Crew: Greg Gumbel (play-by-play), Trent Green (analyst), Jamie Erdahl (sideline)
TV Coverage: View Map
Radio: 98 Rock | WBAL-1090 AM
Local Radio Crew: Gerry Sandusky (play-by-play), Stan White (analyst), Todd Heap (analyst)
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Jersey Color: White
The Ravens and Raiders are both riding two-game losing streaks. Baltimore badly wants to right the ship after starting the year 2-0. The next four games are a chance for the Ravens to gain some ground in the AFC playoff chase with much of the conference right around .500.
Baltimore leads the all-time regular-season series, 6-3, but the Raiders have had the recent edge. The Ravens and Raiders have played faced off in each of the past two seasons and Oakland came out on top both times. Last year, Oakland held on for a 28-27 win at M&T Bank Stadium. The previous year, the Raiders flexed their offensive muscle in a 37-33 victory.
**Ravens Offense Needs to Get in Gear
**Baltimore ranks 30th in the league in total offense and last in passing offense (142.5 yards per game). The Ravens were able to lean on their top-10 running game in the first two games, but when forced to throw more when trying to overcome big first-half deficits, Baltimore has fallen flat. The Ravens talked this week about the need to make a big play or have a long drive to get confidence back.
Defensive Return to Dominance
The Ravens came into the season talking about being the league's top unit. Their 10 turnovers in the first two weeks were unheard of, but the unit has stumbled the past two weeks with Brandon Williams sidelined. The run defense needs to do a better job holding the edge and the pass rush must improve. The Raiders will threaten with Marshawn Lynch and a strong offensive line, but Baltimore's defense should have an easier time against backup quarterback EJ Manuel instead of Derek Carr (back).
West Coast Travel Woes
The Ravens have put a lot of miles on their frequent flyer cards recently. First it was a seven-hour flight back and forth from London, and now it's a six-hour trip west to California. All that travel takes a toll on the body. The Ravens have downplayed its importance this week, but it will be interesting to see how fast they start in Oakland. They lacked energy in London after the long trip.
Players to Watch
**RB Alex Collins
**Collins has been the Ravens' best playmaker so far this season. He leads the NFL with 8.2 yards per carry, totaling 206 yards on 25 attempts. The problem has been fumbles. He's put the ball on the ground twice already this season, and he also fumbled twice last year on just 31 carries. Collins is looking to prove that he can hold onto the ball, and practiced better technique this week. He's on a short leash, per Head Coach John Harbaugh.
QB Joe Flacco
Flacco has the longest streak in the NFL for consecutive games with at least one interception thrown (10 games). Just like Collins, he needs to take better care of the football. The Ravens had so much success in the first two weeks because they dominated the turnover battle. That has flipped in both losses. Flacco talked this week about playing free and fast, and he wants to get the deep passing game and wide receivers more involved.
OLB Terrell Suggs
The Ravens need to do a better job of holding up on the edges of the defense and could use some more pass rush. After starting the season with three sacks and a couple forced fumbles in the first two games, Suggs has gone cold the past two weeks. Suggs is also a major part of helping the defense fix its schematic problems from last week.