NFL capsule: Raiders 7.5-point underdogs vs. Ravens

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NFL capsule: Raiders 7.5-point underdogs vs. Ravens

OAKLAND (3-5) At BALTIMORE (6-2)Sunday, 1 p.m., CBSOPENING LINE - Ravens by 7 12RECORD VS. SPREAD - Oakland 4-4; Baltimore 3-5SERIES RECORD - Ravens lead 6-1AP PRO32 RANKING - Raiders No. 27; Ravens No. 9LAST MEETING - Ravens beat Raiders 21-13, Jan. 3, 2010LAST WEEK - Raiders lost to Buccaneers 42-32, Ravens beat Browns 25-15STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Raiders QB Carson Palmer played against Baltimore 13 times as member of Bengals, going 9-4 and passing for 3,202 yards. ... Ravens have won three straight in series. Oakland's only win in Oakland in December 2003. ... It's return home of sorts for Raiders WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, who played at Maryland from 2006-08. ... Oakland top draft pick OL Tony Bergstrom will be playing against brother-in-law, Ravens LB Paul Kruger. ... Raiders top two RBs, Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson, nursing sprained right ankles. ... Raiders have scored in final two minutes of first half every game this year. ... Oakland WR Denarius Moore has TD catch in three of last four games. ... Raiders' third of five trips to Eastern time zone this year. They have thus far lost to Miami and Atlanta. ... Ravens have won 14 straight at home, longest current streak in NFL. ... Baltimore RB Ray Rice needs 1 yard on the ground to reach 5,000 for his career. Jamal Lewis (7,801 yards) only Ravens player to top 5,000. ... Baltimore 8-1 when WR Torrey Smith has TD catch. ... Ravens WR Anquan Boldin needs 32 yards to reach 10,000 from scrimmage for career. ... Ravens LB Terrell Suggs has four sacks in his last three games against Oakland. ... Ravens 27-5 against sub-.500 teams under coach John Harbaugh. ... Baltimore cornerback Cary Williams has four INTs in last five games. Teammate Ed Reed posted 60th career INT in last week's win over Cleveland. ... Ravens rookie kicker Justin Tucker has made 15 of 16 FG tries, going 4 for 4 from beyond 50 yards.

Donald Penn: Raiders players trust McKenzie will add right pieces

Donald Penn: Raiders players trust McKenzie will add right pieces

The Raiders were pretty darn good last season. A 12-4 record proved that point. There was plenty of talent on a team with a penchant for high-wire acts in victory that masked the fact there were holes on the roster.

They need to be filled for the Raiders to improve in 2017, and new players will be imported through free agency and the draft.

Left tackle Donald Penn is excited to see who gets added, but said there’s no doubt talent is coming to Oakland. He speaks for Raiders players, who have faith that general manager Reggie McKenzie will make the right moves.

“Things that Reggie has done in past drafts have been great, and we’re looking forward to seeing what he brings back towards us,” Penn said recently during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network. “We can’t wait to get back out there healthy. We’re ready to hit the football world with a storm.”

While new guys are coming, a few might head out. The Raiders have several unrestricted free agents. Penn wants to keep his guys around – he mentioned running back Latavius Murray by name -- though he has some ideas for McKenzie’s checklist.

The Raiders don’t need much with most key players under contract – the Raiders should be less active in free agency over past offseasons – but a few key components could put this team over the top.

“If we stick to Reggie’s plan, we’ll be great,” Penn said. “I know he’s going to have a great draft, add a couple little pieces here and there – maybe somebody in the secondary to help out a little bit.

"On offense, you could always use a weapon. Maybe we get another receiver to take (pressure off Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper), but we have a good nucleus right now.”

Raiders LT Donald Penn: QB Derek Carr 'almost 100 percent'

Raiders LT Donald Penn: QB Derek Carr 'almost 100 percent'

Derek Carr is on the mend. The Raiders franchise quarterback had surgery to repair his fibula shortly after he broke it in a Week 16 victory over Indianapolis, and is recovering well during the offseason.

Carr insisted on intense rehab this winter in an attempt – however unlikely it may have been – to return should the Raiders have played in the Super Bowl. It slowed to a normal pace after the Raiders' loss at Houston in the postseason’s opening round, but those in contact with him say he’s making strides.

Left tackle Donald Penn was recently in contact with Carr, and provided an update on Monday during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network.

“I texted Derek (a few) days ago checking in,” Penn said, “and he said he’s almost 100 percent.”

Surgically-repaired broken filbulas take significant time to heal, and the Raiders plan to be conservative with their MVP candidate during the offseason. Derek Carr’s brother and NFL Network analyst David Carr, who was on set with Penn on Monday, said Derek could be back for offseason work.

“He’s doing good,” David Carr said. “He’s walking around already, stretching it out. You can’t do a lot for the bone, right? But he’s going to be back. He’s going to get a whole full offseason in. That’s going to be the best part.”