Falcons Raiders Week 2 Pick

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Atlanta Falcons


Oakland Raiders

Week 2

NFL Pick


The Oakland Raiders haven’t started an NFL season 2-0 in a long — a very long — time. The last time the Raiders reached this mark, it was actually 2002 when the Raiders opened the season 4-0 and ended up losing Super Bowl XXXVII to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They will get the opportunity to open with two wins, in the same number of Games, when they host the Atlanta Falcons in Week 2.

Derek Carr beGAn his third season in the NFL the right way in guiding the Raiders to a 35-34 win over the New Orleans Saints in Week 1. He completed 24 of his 38 passing attempts for 319 yards and a touchdown. The Game was won in bold fashion as Oakland scored a touchdown with 47 seconds remaining to cut the Saints’ lead to 34-33. Then, Jack Del Rio opted to go for a 2-point conversion and the win, rather than playing for overtime. Carr certainly made the choice look like the right one as he lobbed a pass to Michael Crabtree for the go-ahead score.

Speaking of Crabtree, he and Amari Cooper were fantastic as Oakland got the win. Cooper caught six passes for 137 yards. Crabtree added 87 yards on seven receptions. If the two can stay healthy, they should pose a difficult threat for opponents to stop all season long.

Carr and company were impressive in the passing Game, but there wasn’t anything consistently good on the ground for the Raiders. Jalen Richard did run for 87 yards and a touchdown, but the Scorecame on a 75-yard run. Take that away and he ACCounted for two carries for 12 yards. LAtavius Murray was also involved in the run Game as he ran the ball 14 times for 59 yards and a touchdown. Oakland would be well served to have a strong running attack, as anyone would, but the emphasis will certainly be placed on Carr and the passing Game.

Atlanta fell to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-24 in Week 1. They were similar to Oakland in that they largely depended on their passing Game to stay in the Game. Matt Ryan played admirably in completing 27-of-39 passes for 334 yards and two touchdowns. Ryan spread the ball around to eight different receivers, iNCluding five who had Four catches or more.

Mohamed Sanu paced the receiving corps with five receptions for 80 yards and a touchdown. Julio Jones (questionable this week) caught Four passes for 66 yards and a touchdown as well. Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman even got involved in the passing Game out of the backfield with a combined nine receptions for 115 yards.

The Falcons will need the backs to be involved in the passing attack if the running Game is shut down the way it was on Sunday. The ground Game was virtually nonexistent for Atlanta. They ran the ball for only 52 yards on 22 carries as a team — as a team!

Prediction: The Oakland Raiders surrendered 419 passing yards to New Orleans in the win. There should be plenty of opportunity for Matt Ryan to move the ball through the air. Although, Atlanta’s defense didn’t necessarily do a good job of slowing down Jameis Winston, so I find it hard to believe they’ll stop Carr and Cooper, etc. This one could have the makings of a shootout. Raiders -4.5

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