Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta (turf, indoors)
When: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Spread: Falcons by 9.
Records: Falcons (Overall: 5-0, 1-0 NFC South); Raiders (Overall: 1-3, 0-2 AFC West)
Past results: Two most recent meetings -- Nov. 2, 2008: Falcons 24, Raiders 0; Dec. 12, 2004: Falcons 35, Redskins 10. Series record: Raiders lead 7-5.
What matters: Oakland's secondary is allowing 283 yards passing per game, the 27th most in the NFL. Atlanta’s offense thrives on moving the ball quickly whether it’s in hurry-up formations or with a pass-heavy scheme. All of Atlanta’s wide receivers are capable of having a breakout game and it’s really the defense’s decision which receiver -- Roddy White, Julio Jones, Tony Gonzalez -- is going to burn them. Coming off a bye week may have given Oakland more time to prepare, but the Raiders' defense hasn’t forced an interception all season, so Matt Ryan won’t be afraid to test them.
Who matters: The offensive line. They do the grunt work and are the foundation for the Falcons’ sixth-leading offense, which averages 29.6 points per game. Against Carolina two weeks ago, the Falcons allowed six sacks but they were much more effective last weekend against Washington and held their blocks long enough for Ryan to throw for 345 yards. Veterans Sam Baker and Todd McClure have remained steady throughout the first five games, but Sunday’s game is an excellent opportunity to spring holes for RB Michael Turner. Oakland’s front seven doesn’t get a lot of pressure (3 sacks total) along the interior and have allowed 128 rushing yards per game.
Key matchups: Oakland S Tyvon Branch against Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez. The 16-year veteran is coming off his best game since joining the Falcons in 2009. He had 13 catches for 123 yards and a touchdown Sunday as he exposed the Redskins’ man-to-man coverage across the middle. Branch, who has 25 tackles this season, said showing Gonzalez multiple coverages could impact his performance. “Diversifying your defense is the best defense so I’m sure we’re going to throw some different looks at him,” Branch said. The 6-5 tight end has a five-inch advantage over the safety so expect LB Rolando McClain (6-3) to fall back into pass coverage and patrol the middle of the field.
Inside stuff: OL Joe Hawley lined up a number of times last weekend as a blocking fullback in what the Falcons call the “elephant” package. For the most part, it went well until Ryan threw two passes to Hawley that the 300-pound center botched.
“Hopefully, they’ll give me another opportunity,” he said to Orlando Ledbetter. “I was the check down on those two.” When asked about the plays, WR White chimed in, “the funny thing is that he catches all of them in practice.
Connections: Current Falcons wide receivers coach Terry Robiskie began his career with the Raiders in 1982, serving under various positions until 1993. Atlanta WR Jones and OG Mike Johnson were teammates with Oakland starting MLB Rolando McClain on the 2009 Alabama National Championship team.
Stats you should know: The Falcons are second in the NFL on third-down conversions with a 48.5 percent success rate. Oakland has allowed 53.3 percent of third-down attempts. Last week against Washington, the Falcons were 9 for 17 on third-down attempts and held the Redskins to 1 of 9.
Second stat you should know: The Falcons' rush defense has allowed 142.8 yards per game, the 28th worst mark in the NFL. Sunday’s game affords them an opportunity to hold an opponent under 100 yards rushing for the first time this season because Oakland is averaging a league-low 60.8 yards rushing per game.
Record watch: With a victory Sunday, Mike Smith will tie Dan Reeves with 49 victories, the most in Falcons' franchise history. Smith has won 48-of-69 games as the Falcons' head coach. Reeves was 49-59-1 from 1997-2003.
Looking ahead: The Falcons will take their bye week following Sunday’s game against Oakland, while the Raiders host (1-4) Jacksonville.
Prediction: Falcons 27, Oakland 17
For more Falcons coverage, follow Mike Singer @CBSFalcons.