We are all well aware by now of what took place on this fateful day in Baltimore. A shameful display which yielded 55 points for the Ravens. A franchise record for both teams. But we look at the performances along the way in this week's Ballers & Busters.
For the second straight week, Marcel Reece was a big part of this Raiders' offense and for the second straight week, he produced at a high level. He was breaking off pretty good chunks of yards all game. It wouldn't exactly be a revelation to say he looks better than Darren McFadden did before he went out with his ankle sprain.
On the Raiders' first touchdown drive late in the first half, he started off with a nine yard screen and then picked up the third down two plays later on a six yard run. On the only other touchdown drive, he started with a nine yard run and then on the next two plays ran five yards for the first down and had a 24-yard catch. The Raiders final score came on a field goal early in the fourth quarter. On that drive he had five touches for 20 yards and a first down.
Reece finished as the team's leader in catches (7 for 56 yards) and rushing (13 for 58 yards).
His big play of the day was catching a short pass, breaking a tackle and running 55 yards for a touchdown. It came in the final two minutes of the first half to bring the Raiders within ten points at 10-20 and offered a moment of hope the Raiders would fight back into this game. Unfortunately, the Ravens drove right down the field to steal that hope away but that wasn't DHB's fault. Unless you fault him for scoring too quickly.
He later converted a third down conversion on an 8-yard catch and on the next play the Raiders would score their second touchdown. He finished second on the team in catches (5) and yards (82).
With the Raiders down 34-10 in the third quarter and desperate to get something going, he got behind his man and Carson Palmer hit him in stride for a 30-yard touchdown. On a drive at the end of the third quarter he had a third down conversion on a 15-yard catch and a few plays later caught a short pass and broke out of a tackle for a 38-yard gain. It set up the Raiders' final score on a field goal. His 90 yards receiving would lead the team.
Carson Palmer - His numbers were impressive-- 29 of 45, 368 yards, 2 TD, 1 int. But at some point it became apparent he was going to opt for the short pass just about every time he dropped back. The defense knew it too and they watched his eyes. Palmer was staring down his receivers way too often and the result was six tipped passes at the line. These were not all the kind of tips that are the fault of the offensive line getting pushed into the backfield. Many times it was a linebacker from behind the defensive line who simply watched Palmer and then got his hands up. On the interception, it was a similar situation. Paul Kruger didn't have the edge on the left side but Palmer threw it right at him and he simply jumped up and knocked it down to himself. Those tipped passes were drive killers as were the times he threw to a receiver just short of the first down line.