After dropping their first divisional game of the season, can the Las Vegas Raiders rebound to get back in the win column against the Atlanta Falcons? Our staff of Silver and Black Today provide their predictions for the Raiders vs. Falcons Week 12 contest.
Las Vegas enters the Raiders vs. Falcons matchup with a 6-4 record, while holding the seventh spot in the AFC playoff picture. Despite the Falcons showing a 3-7 record, they rank third in passing yards per game and possess two premier wide receivers in Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley.
The Raiders have shown they can score an abundance of points on offense. But rather the much larger question looms ahead, and that’s whether Paul Guenther’s defense can minimize the Falcons playmakers on the outside.
Friday’s injury report for the Raiders suggests this will be the healthiest they’ve been in recent weeks heading into a game. They don’t currently have anybody listed as out, but safety Erik Harris (calf), and defensive end Clelin Ferrell (not injury related), is listed as questionable.
For the Falcons, their injury report is highlighted with some of their biggest names being put in question. Wide receiver Julio Jones (hamstring), tight end Hayden Hurst (ankle) and defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. (hamstring), are listed as questionable for the Week 12 matchup. Additionally, running back Todd Gurley II (knee) is listed as out and will be a non-participant against the Raiders.
Here’s our staff predictions before Sunday’s action inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the Raiders vs. Falcons matchup.
Nick Cothrel, Staff Writer
The Raiders have shown they can hang with the powerhouse teams of the NFL like the New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs. They’ve thrived while being the underdog this season, but with the Atlanta Falcons due up next, they’ll have to show they can win the games they’re supposed to win. The Falcons are better than what their record indicates, but I’m expecting the Raiders’ offense to deliver just how they have been all season. With that said, I think this is a game that quarterback Derek Carr wins with his arm as they get the passing game going early and often. However, I see this being a close contest throughout. Raiders 31, Falcons 27
Mathew Fallon, Staff Writer
Last week the Raiders were seconds away from being 7-3 and a legitimate super bowl contender. Even with the loss to Kansas City, there is so much to be excited about for what’s brewing in Las Vegas. However, a loss this weekend would bring the whole thing crashing down. The Raiders sit at 6-4 for the second season in a row, but will this season be different? I think so. The Falcons aren’t the worst 3-7 team ever, but they are 3-7 with a less than intriguing defense. The Raiders have an opportunity to put up 35+ points this week if they execute similar to the way they did on Sunday night. The defense will have their hands full with the Falcons’ offense but should be able to generate some pressure against a bad offensive line. Simply, if the Raiders are as good as many think they are, they’ll need to win this game and do so decidedly. Raiders 38, Falcons 27
Noah Strang, Staff Writer
The Raiders sit at the same 6-4 record that they did last year before their season collapsed. This year’s team has a different feeling around it and the strong play of several key players has me feeling more optimistic. The Falcons have not impressed this year, and the Raiders’ offense should be licking their chops at the thought of getting to face the Falcons’ defense. I think quarterback Derek Carr has another great game and the Raiders take this one and then some. Raiders 34, Falcons 17
Chris Engelage, Staff Writer
This has trap game written all over it. A year ago the Raiders were 6-4 and headed to New York to face off with a 3-7 Jets squad they were blown out unexpectedly. It was the ultimate “prove your worth” game and the Raiders failed to show up, losing 34-3. This feels like the same situation in 2020 as the Raiders stand at 6-4 and are facing a 3-7 Falcons team that Jon Gruden said is the best 3-7 squad he’s ever seen. Coming off a tough loss against the Kansas City Chiefs, I am genuinely perplexed as to which team shows up in Atlanta. But for the sake of Raider Nation, I’ll lean on the side of optimism and take the Silver and Black. Raiders 34, Falcons 22
Chaz Osborne, Radio Correspondent
Much has been made this week of coach Gruden’s inability to win games over the final third of the season throughout his career, in which he’s 31- 47. Yes, the Raiders were 6-4 this time last year with remaining opponents combining for a record of 28-32, whereas this year’s remaining opponent’s record is 23- 37. So to avoid a 1-5 finish this time around is an absolute given. Honestly, this year feels different. This year feels like the ‘01 season where you could feel the team building up to something special.
No team gained more respect after a loss than the Raiders did last week against Kansas City, which could give way to a letdown game. I don’t see the Raiders falling into that trap. I believe we will see much of that same intensity and focus on both sides of the ball. I see the same ball control offense from the Raiders this week, and the defense once again comes up with a big stop down the stretch to preserve a 4-point Raiders’ victory. Raiders 34, Falcons 30.
Phil Robinson, Staff Writer
Moral victories don’t amount to much in the NFL, but the Raiders’ offense played so well against the Chiefs’ defense, yet they couldn’t secure the victory despite the superior efforts. However, all it takes is one player out of position for the defense to give up the game in crunch time. The Falcons are not a good team despite what Gruden has said publicly.
Currently, the Falcons will be without running back Todd Gurley. Wide receivers Calvin Ridley, and Julio Jones have both been limited through practice with foot and hamstring issues respectively. If they are able to go neither should be anywhere close to 100%. The offensive line is decimated by injuries and surrendered eight sacks in it’s last game against the division rival New Orleans Saints.
Sitting at the same record through 11 weeks as last year at (6-4), the Raiders are going to show just how much they have grown, if at all. Look for the Raiders to bounce back. Raiders 31, Falcons 24.
Scott Gulbransen, Founder/Publisher
Don’t listen to the claim it’s a “trap game.” To have a trap game, you have to prove you’re a much better team than your opponent and the Raiders haven’t done anything just yet. Yes, the Falcons are 3-7 but they have a multitude of weapons on offense that can click and cause headaches for the Raiders sub-par defense. The question is this: will the Raiders be focused after the emotional loss to Kansas City last week. I say yes, and despite Matt Ryan and the Atlanta offense perhaps putting up points, I’m looking for this Las Vegas defense to find itself this week. Derek Carr has a huge day and the Raiders win. Raiders 42, Falcons 20