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NFL Atlanta FalconsOakland Raiders

Raiders vs. Falcons NFL Week 6 Preview

Geoff Burke- US PRESSWIRE

The Oakland Raiders will walk into the Georgia Dome on Sunday as heavy underdogs. After starting the season 1-3, the Raiders come off their bye week to take on the undefeated Atlanta Falcons.

Non-conference match-ups like this are usually not important, but this game is critical for Oakland if they want to be taken seriously in the AFC. This game is less important for the Falcons, but they can continue to drive the dagger into the rest of the NFC South with another victory.

Quarterback: Carson Palmer has had a great year this season, but Matt Ryan has been that much better. Advantage: Atlanta

Running Back: A bad year for Darren McFadden and an okay year for Michael Turner. Tough call, but one back has been there for his team. Advantage: Atlanta

Wide Receiver and Tight End: If only Palmer had the type of targets Ryan has. Injuries have killed the Raiders receivers and the Falcons receivers have gone bananas. Advantage: Atlanta

Offensive Line: Ryan has been sacked 12 times, but the Falcons have run the ball well. Palmer has only been sacked seven times, but Oakland can’t run the ball. Tough decision, but the Falcons have won every game. Advantage: Atlanta

Defensive Line: There’s something about Oakland’s defensive line that is intriguing. Atlanta’s line has had results. Advantage: Atlanta

Linebackers: The strength of Oakland’s defense is once again the strength of its opponents. Sean Weatherspoon and Stephen Nicholas have played better than Phillip Wheeler and Rolando McClain. Advantage: Atlanta

Secondary: One team is seventh against the pass, the other is 27th. You decide who get’s the edge. Advantage: Atlanta

Specialists: One of the few things the Raiders can hang their hat on. The Falcons are good, but no one matches Oakland in this category. Advantage: Oakland

Coach: Mike Smith is an early candidate for coach of the year. Dennis Allen is still learning the kinks of this league. Advantage: Atlanta

This is as close to a must win as it gets for the Raiders and a trip to Atlanta is not what the doctor ordered for this team.