EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the final part in a series that spotlights three Raiders-Falcons matchups to watch Sunday, 10 a.m. (CBS), at the Georgia Dome.
Key matchup No. 3: Tyvon Branch vs. Tony Gonzalez
Key matchup No. 2: Darrius Heyward-Bey vs. Thomas DeCoud
Raiders DE Andre Carter vs. Falcons LT Sam BakerTale of the tape
Carter (97): 6-foot-4, 260 pounds, 12th season, California
Baker (72): 6-foot-5, 305 pounds, fifth season, USCATLANTA -- Andre Carter, he of 76 sacks in an 11-year career, including 10 in 14 games last year, was signed for this precise reason -- to apply pressure to quarterbacks. Especially since the Raiders have all of three sacks, which is tied for the NFL low, through four games.RELATED: How can Raiders get more sacks?
Now, Carter is more of a situational pass rusher these days and he can play either side of the defensive line, but he was getting a lot of reps on the right side. And with Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan throwing the ball 52 times last week against Washington, the situation to rush the passer figures to come up early and often in the Georgia Dome."I feel great," said Carter, who last played on Dec. 18 for New England, when he tore a quadriceps muscle. He was signed before the Raiders' game at Denver before the bye but was inactive against the Broncos."All it was was an extra week just to get familiar with the scheme, an extra week to study, the bye week came at a great time, as far as my arrival is concerned," Carter added. "I just spent that extra time talking to the coaches and having a better feel mentally and it was all about going out there and executing. We had a padded practice (Wednesday) for the first time and it felt great."All of which, the Raiders hope, will put stress on the Falcons' silent-but-effective left tackle, Sam Baker, who in college blocked for Raiders backup QB Matt Leinart."The one thing about pass rushers, its just four guys just getting after it and the most important thing is you understand your talent and utilize it to the best of your ability," Carter said. "Sometimes its definitely about winning your matchup, but at the same time we have to figure out a way to work together. Were communicating a lot more, as far as, OK, its third down, make sure were in sync and go.'You have to have a common purpose and a common goal -- Wheres the quarterback going to be? Is he seven yards deep? Is he nine yards deep? Is he a pocket passer? You take all those things in the play and then you can game plan and thats how most good defenses and especially good defensive linemen that know how to pass rush."