Tomorrow the Raiders will host the New Orleans Saints, and these two teams are entering the match-up coming off of completely different Week 10 performances.
The Raiders were destroyed by the Baltimore Ravens last week in a 55-20 road loss. Granted, Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson were inactive, but a 35-point loss? Really? They currently hold a crummy 3-6 record on the season.
As for the Saints, their Week 10 game was against the Atlanta Falcons, who were undefeated coming into the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. But not for long. The Saints would go on to beat the Falcons 31-27 in front of a roaring home crowd and push their record to 4-5.
So tomorrow, the Raiders and Saints will clash helmets in Oakland, and the Saints are favored to win the game. I don’t think there should be any argument there, in fact, I’ll give you my two biggest reasons as to why the Raiders will lose to the Saints tomorrow afernoon:
1. Injuries: Yeah, you knew it was coming. The Raiders are as injury-plagued as ever right now, as key players like Darren McFadden, Mike Goodson, and Richard Seymour are all dealing with injuries, and have all been ruled out of tomorrow’s game. Heck, even wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey and strong safety Tyvon Branch are injured, as they are both questionable for the match-up.
So how are the Raiders going to keep up with Drew Brees and his hot offense? Well, with Seymour ruled out and Branch listed as questionable, it’s going to be really tough to play defense against the Saints. They won’t have their veteran pass rusher against a quarterback who will pick your defense apart if you give him the time, and if Branch doesn’t play, they’ll have to replace him with an inexperienced back-up to cover the fully loaded Saints’ receiving core. And without McFadden or Goodson, and the possibility of no Heyward-Bey, it’ll be exceptionally hard to match the Saints on the scoreboard, as Palmer will really have his options limited.
2. Defense: The Raiders haven’t really been good on defense this year (shocker, right?). Sure, they’ve had their moments of pleasure, like when they picked off Matt Ryan three times in the first half on the road, but other than that, they are weak. They allowed 35 points to the Miami Dolphins, 31 to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 37 to the Denver Broncos, 42 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and 55 to the Baltimore Ravens. Looking at that list, it’s understandable to see that the Broncos, Ravens, and Steelers put up big numbers against the Raiders. But wouldn’t you say that the Saints have an offense that is just as prolific as those teams? With Drew Brees leading the charge, and guys like Jimmy Graham, Marques Colston, Devery Henderson, Darren Sproles, and Pierre Thomas all right by his side, how much more lethal can an offense get?
I believe that the New Orleans Saints have one of the best offenses in the NFL and based on how the Raiders have played this season against teams with good offenses, I just don’t see them containing the Saints very well. I expect Drew Brees to throw for at least 450 yards and four touchdowns against a depleted Oakland defense.
If you want to see my prediction become a reality, or if you just want to watch the game, flip your television channel to FOX tomorrow afternoon at 1 PM PT to catch all the action. Also, stay tuned with Golden Gate Sports tomorrow, as we will have a preview, live blog, and recap of this Week 11 match-up between the Oakland Raiders and the New Orleans Saints.