TV/RADIO: Chs. 5, 13; 560-AM, 100.7-FM and 105.7-FM (Spanish) STORY LINE: The Saints are among a handful of teams sitting at 2-3 and disappointed in their record. The Raiders would be thrilled to reach 2-3 with a victory today. It won't be easy for the Raiders. They have a new coach in Tom Cable, a new person calling plays in offensive coordinator Greg Knapp and the daunting prospect of playing in one of the league's loudest venues. On the bright side, starting running back Justin Fargas (groin) is expected back after missing the past two games. His presence gives the Raiders three front-line backs — Darren McFadden and Michael Bush are the others — to use in re-establishing their running game. Cable and Knapp say they intend to let quarterback JaMarcus Russell cut loose for the first time. That means more downfield throws and more pass attempts overall. Oakland's confidence is bolstered by the news that New Orleans starting cornerback Tracy Porter (wrist) is out for the season. Defensively, the Raiders figure to key on Saints running back Reggie Bush. They also will throw an assortment of blitzes, stunts and disguised formations at quarterback Drew Brees. Brees is the league's top passer in yards, and he is adept at picking apart a defense, if given the time. Defending against Brees is made more difficult by his penchant for spreading around his passes and not locking in on one receiver. The Saints do an admirable job of creating adequate pressure on the quarterback. The Raiders have a decided edge on special teams, with the exception of punt returns, where Bush is fresh from a game in which he returned two for touchdowns. WHAT'S WORTH WATCHING
Saints QB Drew Brees — He has a long history of torching the Raiders, with some of his best games coming against them when he played for the San Diego Chargers. The Raiders figure to have their hands full against their longtime tormentor.
Raiders LB Thomas Howard — He will be assigned to shadow Bush on almost every down so that Bush doesn't run wild. Bush's specialty is catching short passes and using his speed and elusiveness to turn them into big plays.
— Steve Corkran