It is games like these that really test a fan base, whether it be their loyalty or just simply their patience. This Raiders/Ravens game yesterday afternoon was over before it even started; if you don’t recall what I wrote in my preview, I mentioned that the game would either go very well or it would go very badly. In this case, it was the latter x10. I realized in the end that only my patience was tested, though – even if the Raiders went 0-16 for ten seasons in a row, my commitment to this team is too solid to crack now.
Let me just dive right into it…
What The Hell Happened?
- Ravens WRs Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin ran all over Oakland’s defensive secondary (and here I was thinking it wouldn’t be as bad as it was against Tampa Bay…) If there was ever a game we could have used CB Pat Lee, who was waived earlier in the week due to roster moves, it was yesterday. Huff was burnt going deep along the sidelines and CB Ron Bartell, in his first game back since sustaining an injury in Week 1, was struggling to keep up as well.
- The fake FG attempt in the third quarter that resulted in Ravens P Sam Koch walking into the end zone for a touchdown on fourth down. This play led to some controversy (mainly among Raiders fans in public forums) and was labeled as “running up the score”. I have no problem admitting that the play made me angry in the moment; it was like being kicked when you’re down. Had the shoe been on the other foot, though, I’d like the Raiders to experiment the same way in a beat down such as this. Why not try it? This article written by Ryan Mink, a staff writer at BaltimoreRavens.com, should put the idea that it was a cheap shot to bed: Raiders Didn’t Think Ravens Ran Up Score.
- Ravens DT Haloti Ngata didn’t even have to play a down and was able to rest for more worthy opponents coming up. That speaks volumes alone.
- Penalties on the offensive line were another problem again, only this time instead of T Willie Smith committing the fouls, the blame lies on G Mike Brisiel. Aside from Brisiel’s hand in the jar of flags, there was one questionable offensive PI called on Brandon Myers in the end zone that killed a touchdown pass, and also another questionable personal foul for a blow to the head of a defenseless receiver called on, I believe, Philip Wheeler. Wheeler was already mid-air into his tackle and the blow to the head was with his thigh; I’m still scratching my head as to how that “penalty” could have been avoided.
- LB Aaron Curry, who had been out since the beginning of preseason with a knee injury, probably didn’t get any of his welcome back cake after tallying two separate illegal block penalties on special teams.
- DB Matt Giordano gave Raider Nation yet another reason to believe he will not be wearing Silver & Black again next year after he laid down and played dead when his coverage was blown and resulted in a Ravens TD.
Scrounging For Silver Linings
- The run D was able to stop Ray Rice, holding him to 35 yards rushing no touchdowns over 60 minutes. The only problem was that’s about all that they did on Sunday.
- P Shane Lechler posted a season-high net average of 47.6 yards. It was especially great to see more accuracy from him in Week 10, pinning the Ravens back within their 10-yard line a few times.
- DHB’s 55-yard catch-and-run for a TD nearing the end of the first half, shaking off S Ed Reed to get himself into the end zone.It was a small highlight!
- Continued and effective use of TE Brandon Myers, who had another five reception game for 57 yards.
- Carson Palmer put up his eighth 300+ yard game in a Raiders uniform, going 29-of-45 for 368 yards and two touchdowns. Every Raiders fan that has been ragging on Palmer the last three weeks can give it a rest already; the stats show that CP3 is the least of their problems.
- Michael Huff playing to the best of his ability at both the safety and CB position. He was definitely outmatched again in every sense of the word, but he posted an INT off of his own deflection in the second quarter that led to a scoring drive.
- Backup QB Matt Lienart saw some regular season action in the fourth quarter when Palmer was pulled, but only had one passing attempt. That can only be a positive thing, right?!
My head is still spinning from what took place yesterday. At this point, all I can think about is if Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens looked like a Hall of Fame QB yesterday, I can only imagine what Saints’ prized QB Drew Brees will do to this Raiders defense if something isn’t figured out. If Raiders DL coach, Jason Tarver, and the other DB coaches don’t start addressing these issues today, Brees will have a career game and just shred that defensive secondary apart. As negative of a thought as that is, it’s reality and I’m bracing myself as a fan for it.
We can only hope that the inadequate defensive display that the New Orleans Saints put on at the beginning of the season shows up in Oakland next Sunday – that way, the Raiders could have a fighting chance to hang around on the scoreboard.