It feels like forever since the Baltimore Ravens last played at home. Their last home game was October 14 against the Dallas Cowboys. While the Ravens won the game, it was one fans would like to forget as the defense took a hit with injuries Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb.
The 6-2 Ravens will face the 3-5 Oakland Raiders on Sunday. Thankfully the banged up Ravens defense is slowly recovering and showing signs of improvement. It will be linebacker Terrell Suggs’ first home game since returning from his Achilles tendon injury.
Like the Ravens, the Raiders also implement the no-huddle offense; they have the 7th ranked passing attack. Their starting running backs, Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson have been plagued with high ankle sprains and are out for Sunday. Backup running back Taiwan Jones will get the carries.
The loss of McFadden is a big blow to their rushing offense as he leads the team with 455 yards. Raiders’ quarterback Carson Palmer will need to throw the ball against an improving Ravens defense; he’s struggled with interceptions, he’s thrown eight this season.
Fortunately the Ravens are familiar with Palmer as they faced him many times when he played for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Hopefully Ravens’ offensive coordinator Cam Cameron will continue to rely on running back Ray Rice like he did last week in Cleveland where Rice had 25 carries for 98 yards and one touchdown.
The Ravens have the longest winning streak at home, but the big question of which Ravens will show up still remains. Despite their 6-2 record, they have been inconsistent this season and it feels like they are a work in progress every week.
Defensive end Pernell McPhee is out for Sunday. It is the second week in a row he will miss a game due to a thigh injury.
Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, who played through shoulder and knee injuries, is questionable. He missed practice Wednesday and Thursday and was limited on Friday.
Also questionable are guards Marshall Yanda and Bobbie Williams. Both missed practice Wednesday and Thursday, returned Friday.
To comply with the thorough injury reporting they are required to keep from now on, the Ravens listed ten players listed as probable. Notable ones include safety Ed Reed, left tackle Michael Oher and linebacker Terrell Suggs.
The Ravens are looking to beat the Raiders for the third straight time to stay on top of the AFC.
I feel more confident about this game since the Ravens play better at home. I liked what I saw from the defense last week. I’m hopeful that Cameron will continue to let Rice run the ball; if that is the case, the Ravens stand a better chance of winning.