Patriots vs. Raiders Preview and Prediction

The New England Patriots host the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, looking for a victory in their home opener.

The Raiders are off to a rough start to the 2014 season and are in need of a huge upset win in Foxboro.


Patriots: 1-1

Raiders: 0-2

Last Meeting: Patriots won 31-19 in 2011

Key stat:

New England Outlook: After falling flat against the Dolphins, the Patriots came out firing in a blowout win over the Vikings, evening up their record at 1-1.

Tom Brady was better in that game after turning the ball over three times against Miami. Still, this passing game is in need of a kickstart after averaging just 184 passing yards per game to this point.

The run game has been better, with both Shane Vereen (13 carries, 76 yards and a touchdown) and Stevan Ridley (33 carries, 122 yards, one score) running well.

Oakland Outlook: The Raiders were a mess against the Texans, falling behind 27-0 before they finally got on the board.

Rookie quarterback Derrick Carr hasn't been great this year, but he is lacking talent around him. Outside of receiver James Jones (12 receptions, 146 yards and two touchdowns) no one on the offense has produced so far.

Meanwhile the defense is being exploited on the ground, allowing an average of 200 yards a game to the Jets and Texans.

What to watch for: Expect Brady and the Patriots to come out and establish the run early on. With the passing game struggling and Oakland's vulnerability to the run, it makes sense for New England to try and open up the pass with some early ground work.

This has the makings of another early blowout, meaning Carr may see plenty of opportunities to throw this week - something Oakland will be evaluating closely.

What they're saying - Patriots:

With Edelman carrying offense, Pats need Gronk (Eye on Foxborough)

Mayo absence not injury related (Providence Journal)

What they're saying - Raiders:

Despite hip injury, Streater 'good to go' (Silver and Black Pride)

Raiders getting Brown up to speed (Silver and Black Pride)


Raiders - 17, Patriots - 34

New England will come out focused and determined in their home opener, which is bad news for the Raiders - who are traveling to the East Coast for the second time in three weeks.

The Patriots should correct their offensive problems in this one, and establish a healthy lead early in the game. Carr and the Raiders will have to play a perfect game, and that still may not be enough.

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