The Raiders started the game in Baltimore with the ball first, but that didn't last long as they went 3 and out on their opening drive. That's actually the way things went for awhile because the two teams went back and forth trading off their first two possessions each without anything real exciting happening. That's an understatement as far as the Raiders are concerned actually because both of their first drives were 3 and outs.
They did manage to get a decent drive started on their 3rd possession which saw them get close to midfield before the drive faltered. They tried running up the middle with FB Jamize Olawale on 3rd and 1 but got stuffed far short. Luckily, they have the best punter in the league in Marquette King who pinned the Ravens inside the 10 for his second time already in 3 punts for the game.
The value of Marquette King was on fully display because the Raiders forced a 3 and out on the Ravens while they were still pinned deep in their own territory. Then the punt almost got blocked with a heavy pressure which forced a shorter punt which return man Jalen Richard returned 47 yards all the way to the Ravens 6 yard line. They tacked on the touchdown on the next play with a pass to a diving Seth Roberts to make the score 7-0 Raiders.
Baltimore had a great return of their own from Devin Hester who still has moves despite his advancing age, the guy is the best return man in history. Hester's return brought the ball out to past midfield on the kickoff return after the Raiders touchdown. A 17 yard pass on 3rd and 3 to Steve Smith (another ageless wonder) closed out the first quarter and put the Ravens on the Oakland 23. They got as far as the Raiders 6 before the drive stalled, then they kicked the 24 yard field to make the score 7-3 Raiders.
Oakland's response to the Ravens field goal left much to be desired, they again failed to get a first down and had to punt back to Baltimore. Their first play of their drive was a 21 yard run that already had the Ravens at midfield. They only got one more first down after that though and that was from a ticky tack pass interference penalty. The Raiders defense held strong after that and forced a Ravens punt.
If you could draw up a perfect drive, it would look exactly like what the Raiders proceeded to do to the Ravens. They went 80 yards in 9 plays, taking up just 4 minutes of time with it because it was just that dang efficient. Derek Carr was 5 for 5 on the drive and capped it off with a beautiful 5 yard TD pass to Michael Crabtree to make the score 14-3. There was also an awesome 28 yard run on the drive by DeAndre Washington on the play before the touchdown for how they got down to the 5 yard line.
The groove the Raiders found themselves in continued with their defense who forced a Ravens 3 and out right off the bat on the ensuing Ravens drive. The 3rd down play was close to a completed long ball for Baltimore but Sean Smith came up with a huge pass defense to knock the ball down. It was especially good to see the group celebration afterwards that showed the excitement and camaraderie forming in the secondary.
The Raiders didn't keep that momentum going on offense thanks to a holding call that took away a scrambling first down by Derek Carr. There was another good punt by Marquette King that stuck the Ravens inside their own 10 yard line. This time though the Ravens were able to escape the shadow of their own end zone. They managed to get a couple of big plays to get them into field goal range to tack on a 43 yard field goal just at the end of the half to make the score 14-6.
The Raiders did have 3 seconds left on the clock after the touchback on the following kick off, but they just kneeled it out to close out the half. The Ravens will get the ball first to start the second half.