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Raiders-Packers matchup of the day: Wednesday

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Dan Arkush

darkush@pfwmedia.com
Executive editor

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Posted Dec. 07, 2011 @ 3:10 p.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

Raiders C Samson Satele and OGs Stefen Wisniewski and Cooper Carlisle vs. Packers NT B.J. Raji

Coming off back-to-back particularly lackluster outings, it won't get any easier this Sunday for Oakland's interior line matched up against Raji, who is coming off his best overall performance of the season vs. the Giants. The reduced snap count that Raji has received in recent games — a tactic designed to make him fresher down the stretch — appeared to pay huge dividends against the Giants. While Raji had only one tackle in the Meadowlands, he won practically all of his one-on-one battles (five QB hurries) and came up with a key fumble recovery late in the first half following a sack of Eli Manning by Clay Matthews. Raji showed off his rare athleticism on a number of occasions in the game, confounding the Giants with an assortment of moves, in addition to utilizing his great combination of speed and quickness to the max.

Wisniewski, who starts at left guard, is smart, technically sound and has great bloodlines — he is the nephew of ex-Raiders OG Steven Wisniewski, one of the Raiders' current O-line coaches. The second-round rookie has held his own quite well for the most part and has showed good toughness, but could stand to improve his power and strength.

Satele, a former Dolphin, gets off the ball very quickly and has the strength to gain leverage. But he can get beaten by interior defenders with great size and speed — two ingredients that set Raji apart from the majority of his peers. Satele is also prone to mistakes. Carlisle is a functional 34-year-old veteran who is very good technically but lacks strength.

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