EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the final part in a series that spotlighted three Raiders-Ravens matchups to watch Sunday, 10 a.m. (CBS), at M&T Bank Stadium.
Matchup No. 3: Carson Palmer vs. Terrell Suggs
Matchup No. 2: Aaron Curry vs. Ray Rice
Raiders RB Taiwan Jones vs. Ravens FS Ed ReedTale of the tape
Jones (22): 6-foot, 197 pounds, second season, Eastern Washington
Reed (20): 5-foot-11, 205 pounds, 11th season, MiamiSay what, a third-string running back who has yet to show he can get past the line of scrimmage knocking helmets with an eight-time Pro Bowler, five-time first team All-Pro and future Hall of Famer?Well, with the Raiders needing to establish the run game against the Ravens and their 28th-ranked run defense and Oakland playing without Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson and their respective high ankle sprains, yeah.RELATED: McFadden, Goodson out
"Of course Im very excited, I trained all training camp," Taiwan Jones told reporters on Friday. "Youve got to be patient in this league. Ive been waiting for my opportunity and its here, so Im going to try to make the most of it."Jones, slowed by hamstring, ribs and knee injuries since training camp, has appeared in six of the Raiders' games thus far and has just two carries for two yards with one catch for four yards."Its definitely been difficult," Jones said. "Its hard when youve got other people in front of you but its part of the game, its part of the business. Theres nothing I can really do about it but prepare for my opportunity."Last year, Jones played in 10 games and average 4.6 yards per carry on 16 rushing attempts.Might the zone-blocking scheme be derailing his productivity, as many suggest it has with McFadden, or is the sample size this year too small and injury bug too big?"Honestly a hole is a hole," he said. "It really doesnt matter. It complements me because its a one-cut thing. You get vertical and have plays to what I bring to the team. Im able to stop on a dime and change directions, so I think it works well for me."Im very aware that Im not Darren McFadden. I just try to play my game. The coaches, they do a good job of putting me in positions and giving me plays for what I can bring to the table. Im not trying to be Darren McFadden or anyone else. Hes definitely a great back to learn from but Im just being myself out there."Which means he needs to get past the line of scrimmage, make Ed Reed miss and show off his speed.